Friends and family are grieving the death of beloved Kansas Pastor Phillip Hett, 39, and his 10-year-old daughter, Abigail, who were killed in a collision on Sunday.
According to Fox 4, the crash that killed the pastor and his younger daughter happened at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 135, roughly 8 miles south of Salina.
The two-vehicle collision involved four people. Investigators believe that a northbound pickup truck driven by Christopher Giroux, 24, of Salina, crossed the highway median and collided with Hett's pickup truck. Giroux, Hett and Abigail were all killed in the crash.
Hett's 13-year-old daughter was also in his truck but survived the crash. She was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, The Christian Post reports.
"I don't think it's really sunk in yet that they're gone," family member Toby Peck told KWCH12 news. "It's gonna be really hard when it finally does sink in."
Hett, he added, was "very, very likable," and the Lindsborg community is hurting. Peck described Abigail, known as "Abby," as "fun," "super smart," and "very talented."
"It's still not real yet," he explained. "It's just so unimaginable that this happened. Everybody thinks this can't happen to you, and it's just, it's awful."
Pastor Hett was the spiritual pastor of Bethany Village, an Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America retirement home.
Bethany Village issued a statement about their pastor's death.
"The Bethany Village family is in shock and is grieving the loss of our beloved pastor and friend Phil Hett. We also grieve the loss of his beautiful daughter Abigail. Phil was an amazing man, a great friend, and a wonderful pastor. He was the spiritual center of our mission. He was the person we would turn to in our time of loss and grief, and now we face this loss without his presence," Kris Erickson, CEO of Bethany Village, noted in a statement.
Donations can be made to the Hett family by writing checks to "Bethany Home Association" and writing "Pastor Phillip Hett Memorial" in the memo line.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Stephen Barnes
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.