ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) – Two families in Elizabethtown are grieving loved ones this holiday season.
17-year-old John “JT” Wiglesworth and 79-year-old Louise Pullen died in a car accident on Leitchfield Road around 11 a.m. Monday.
“We all know that our time is coming at some point, but you envision your grandparents passing away in a nursing home or at home in their sleep,” said Pullen’s granddaughter Stephanie Mace. “You don’t think they’re going to die very tragically and very suddenly.”
Pullen was a retired bus driver with Hardin County Schools and was beloved by the kids on her route. Mace said getting to know their families was a bright spot in her grandmother’s life, and she would give them presents during the holidays.
Mace was also the primary caretaker to her great-grandsons, Raymond, 1, and JJ, 11. She said Pullen was buying their Christmas gifts Monday morning before the crash.
“She was always supportive of me and always took good care of me and my little brother,” JJ said.
“Everything that they knew is gone,” Mace said. “The person that took care of them every day is gone. Their Mee-Maw is gone. Their home is going to be gone and I just wanted to make sure they’re going to be okay because that would have been the last thing that she wanted.”
Other family members will be taking care of the kids unexpectedly, so Mace has set up a fundraiser to help with the cost.
The family of JT Wiglesworth was among the first to donate.
“They don’t know us and we don’t know them,” she said, “and for them to love on us, especially during Christmas when they are suffering also, is just a testament to what great people they are and what a strong knit community this is. And it makes me very proud to be from here. We just want to extend love to them also and let them know that we are also praying for their family.”
Elizabethtown Police say the rainy weather is being investigated as one of the factors that may have caused Wiglesworth’s car to skid into the other lane and hit Pullen.
To donate to the family of Louise Pullen, click here.
To donate to the family of JT Wiglesworth, click here.