MORGAN COUNTY, Ga. – A Georgia State Trooper is asking everyone for help after the parents of four children died in a horrible crash.
Tuesday afternoon, the children and their grandmother were packing up to head to Florida. They took time out to speak exclusively with WSB-TV’s Sophia Choi and to thank everyone, especially the trooper who’s gone beyond the call of duty to help them.
Troopers say the parents had gone to buy more makeup for their kids on Halloween night, when they crashed in Morgan County.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had to bury anybody and it’s my son and my daughter-in-law, and I’ve got four kids that I have to take care of,” grandmother Stephanie Oliver told Choi.
Trooper Nathan Bradley was working out of Rockdale County when he heard about the accident and rushed to the scene.
Bradley found the children waiting at their Newton County home just a few miles away.
“They were in their full costumes. I remember the 8-year-old — he was an angry wizard so his face was partially red,” Bradley said.
“I figured yeah, something bad must have happened, because if nothing bad happened then all these troopers wouldn’t be here,” the oldest son, Justin Howard, said.
The closest relative was their grandmother eight hours away in Florida.
So Bradley decided to stay with the kids until she could arrive. He says he was going to notify the Department of Family and Child Services, but he couldn’t bring himself to ruin the kids’ Halloween night.
“Not only would these children discover they had lost both their parents, but would spend their Halloween in a county jail until somebody could tend to them; it just wasn’t right,” said Bradley. “I care a lot about them and I want to watch them succeed. I don’t want this tragedy to shadow the rest of their lives.”
Bradley and others in the community celebrated Halloween with the kids and kept the deaths of their parents from them.
“Our purpose was to preserve future holidays as far as Halloween goes. We wanted them to relate it to Nov. 1,” Bradley said.
Bradley started a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral costs and to transport the parents’ bodies to Florida, where they will be buried.
They needed $7,000. By Tuesday afternoon, they’d raised nearly $10,000.
“He’s helping us so much right now,” Oliver said.
The grandmother and children plan to leave for Florida on Wednesday.