Here to Help: Community rallying behind family of Webb City officer who was hospitalized in Florida
Local businesses, police department, raising money for the family.
WEBB CITY, Mo. – It was a moment that no one wants to go through.
“I looked behind us and I looked in front of us, and I could see my baby flying and land in front of us,” says Heather Ward, Brian Wards wife.
Brain and Heather Ward were on vacation with their five-year-old daughter Raegen and two-year-old son Knox, when on May 26th, Brian and Knox were hit on the side of the road by an alleged drunk driver.
“I had seen some headlights in my rearview mirror, but I didn’t realize that the car wasn’t slowing down or stopping or whatever. And they just ran right into my car. And my husband and my baby were standing right there,” says Heather.
Heather explains that Brian was drug more than 75 yards, and wasn’t found underneath the vehicle for more than 15 minutes.
“On scene I was told that my husband did not make it. Later on a paramedic told me that he was alive and that he was talking to them,” says Heather. “I’m in shock. No one ever tells you how to handle these situations.”
Brian and Knox were taken to separate hospitals, and are both currently in stable condition. Heather says she’s been told by doctors that Knox’s injuries should heal on their own, and he should be moved out of the PICU on Friday. Brian still has a pretty long road to recovery.
“His right leg is crushed from the knee to the ankle. He ended up with twelve staples in the back of his head,” says Heather. “I do believe he saved our child’s life by superhero throwing him out of the way.”
And being a superhero is kind of Brian’s thing as a Sargeant with the Webb City Police Department. He’s worked at the department since 2011, and has made a pretty big impact on the community.
“Brian has had to come unlock some of our delivery vehicles when we might accidentally lock the keys in them,” says Liesl Barcus, co-owner of Bamboo in Webb City.
“He’s a great guy. Would do anything for anybody,” says Webb City officer Josh Smith.
So the people he’s helped are working to help his family in their time of need. Residents from all over the area have sent Heather numerous messages on Facebook, and left thousands of encouraging comments. And local businesses, like Bamboo and Henkle’s Hardware, are donating their profits to the family to help with expenses.
But it doesn’t end in their home town. Heather explains that the Ronald McDonald House is helping them with accommodations, and deputies with the local sheriff’s office have let them use their person cars to drive between hospitals.
“I hope that they know that the whole town and the whole community has got their back during this time,” says Barcus.
Support that Heather says means the world to them.
“The thought that so many people do care about us is overwhelming. I know it’s overwhelming to him too,” says Heather. “Even though this is a tragic accident, the blessings that have come of it are just truly emotional for us.”
If you want to help the family, you can donate money directly to Heather through Paypal here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also put donations in the Ward Family Benefit Account at Pinnacle bank locations in Webb City, Joplin and Sarcoxie. Checks should be made payable to Brian or Heather Ward.
1010 S Madison Street, Suite M, Webb City
802 S Main Street, Joplin
2433 S Rangeline Road, Joplin
1316 E 32nd Street, Joplin
1651 W 7th Street, Joplin
501 Cross St, Sarcoxie