‘Heavy on my heart.’ Lexington priest pays funeral costs for 5 killed in I-75 crash

A Lexington priest has volunteered to pay funeral bills after six people died in a crash involving a wrong-way driver on I-75.

Father Jim Sichko, a priest in the Diocese of Lexington and a “Papal Missionary of Mercy” commissioned by Pope Francis, paid for the funeral bills of 4 youngsters and a girl killed in Saturday’s crash after he drove previous the wreckage on northbound I-75 whereas first responders had been nonetheless on scene, he instructed the Herald-Leader Monday.

“I happened to be traveling along that road that day,” he mentioned. “I happened to be on the interstate, and I came across this accident as they were literally … pulling a body out of the vehicle. I stopped, I pulled over and I just started praying.”

The crash finally killed all six individuals concerned: 2-year-old Jack Greene, 5-year-old Brayden Boxwell, 9-year-old Karmen Greene, 11-year-old Santanna Greene, 30-year-old Catherine Greene and 38-year-old Jamaica Caudill. Caudill was southbound on I-75 north when she crashed into Greene’s car, in line with movies and police.

Jack, Brayden, Karmen, Santanna and Catherine had been all from Owenton, in line with their obituary. Karmen died on the scene of the crash, in line with the Fayette County coroner’s workplace. The others had been taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital the place they later died.

“Immediately I said to myself … ‘I’m going to help this family,’” Sichko mentioned.

Sichko mentioned he known as the funeral director.” Sichko mentioned he additionally needed to assist Caudill’s household however hadn’t heard again from anybody but.

“It has weighed very heavy on my heart,” Sichko mentioned. “I’ve found myself being depressed the last couple days. I’ve found myself questioning — I’ve found myself reliving the images. In my mind I can see the firefighter taking the body out of the vehicle and just shaking his head no.”

Sichko mentioned he hadn’t talked to anybody in the Greene household as of Monday morning. He as an alternative dealt with bills immediately with the funeral dwelling to make issues simpler for the household. He mentioned he would meet surviving members of the family or attend the funeral provided that they needed him there.

“This is a very private time for that family,” he mentioned. Sichko has volunteered to pay for funerals in Central Kentucky and elsewhere.

Family members have shared a GoFundMe page for the Greene household on social media that acknowledged that the funeral bills have been paid. But the household didn’t have life insurance coverage, in line with the GoFundMe web page, and cash raised would assist with on a regular basis bills till members of the family return to work.

“This is going to be the hardest time they will have ever have to face in their lives,” web page organizers Elizabeth and Shantella Diane wrote in the GoFundMe put up.

The web page had raised almost $11,000 by eight a.m. Monday.

Funeral preparations for the household hadn’t been finalized as of Monday, in line with McDonald and New Funeral Home. More info was anticipated to be accessible Monday afternoon. Donations and flower arrangements could possibly be despatched via the funeral dwelling.

Updated: Two adults, four children killed in Lexington I-75 crash identified

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