KUSA – We often gather in times of need.
“We’re devastated and heartbroken,” Tim Dalton of Erie said.
The Daltons aren’t used to receiving assistance. They’re usually giving it.
“It helps that so many people are here,” said Tim’s son Sebi. The 14-year-old was recently headed to a different kind of gathering. He had a spot at the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana.
“I thought it was fantastic. You get to meet the Mannings,” Sebi told 9NEWS.
During a family road trip early Thursday morning on an Oklahoma highway, the Daltons witnessed an accident. A motorcyclist had struck a cow that wandered into the road. They stopped to give help.
“That’s when a tragic series of events happened,” Tim said.
While waiting on the side of the road for emergency responders, a semi hit the same cow and lost control. The truck hit the family’s car. Sebi and his two younger sisters were fine, while his dad suffered serious internal injuries. Sebi’s mom, Mary Grace, was killed. They were only there to give.
“That’s the kind of person she was,” her husband Tim said. “She was a very kind and giving person and she insisted on stopping to help.”
She was 46, and grew up in Louisiana-Manning country. Mary Grace was so happy her youngest boy stuck with football.
However, Sebi never made it to the passing academy. On Wednesday, with the family grieving back at home, the phone rang.
“‘Tim, this is Archie Manning’, and I was taken aback and excited, but he was just concerned and asked how we were and how Sebi was and said it just dampened the mood on the camp overall,” Tim said.
The Mannings also sent a football signed by Archie, Eli and Peyton Manning.
“I didn’t expect them to send anything, so when I saw it, I was really surprised,” Sebi said.
It’s just an example of the overwhelming support for the Daltons.
“It made me realize more about how she helped other people and what she did,” Sebi said.
Their house is filled with love and yet, it still feels empty.
“She’s irreplaceable. Irreplaceable,” Tim told 9NEWS.
The woman who loved to give was taken.
Now so many that Mary Grace touched, are giving back to her family. A family that is suddenly in need.
(© 2015 KUSA)