Heidi and Megan in deadly head-on collision…

Dear Friends,

Due to the overwhelming inquiries through social media and texting, I’m going to thank you here for reaching out. Please understand that I’m not able to respond to everybody, my Facebook activity is off the charts. This site will be the place for updates.

Here’s what happened today:

Heidi and Megan were in a head-on collision this morning a few miles North of Appleton. They were on their way to meet family in Wausau for our Thanksgiving Celebration. Erin and I were already in Wausau when I received the news that Heidi and Megan were in a serious accident resulting in one fatality (the other driver) and a variety of injuries to Heidi and Meg. Both of them were conscious and trapped in the van. Megan was removed rather quickly with jaws of life and transported immediately to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, a Level II trauma center. The jaws were also used to extradite Heidi but it took considerably longer due to the crash and her injuries. She also was transported to the same facility and arrived about an hour later. The medical helicopter was unable to fly to the scene due to heavy fog.

Before I continue, I must acknowledge the fine work of the emergency personnel who responded. The witnesses and volunteers at the scene, paramedics, first responders, police officers, fire fighters, ER staff, nurses, doctors, and social workers were awesome and played a huge part in my family be well cared for…THANK YOU!

Megan was released from ER around Noon today with relatively minor injuries considering the severity of the impact. Heidi has sustained more serious injuries including a broken clavicle, bruised lung, numerous lacerations on her hands, arms, legs and feet, and most seriously a dislocated and broken hip/pelvis.

Heidi underwent surgery this afternoon to address a dislocated hip and tend to other injuries, stitches, etc. Her leg has a pin in it and it’s in traction to keep the hip in place. She continues to wear a collar around her neck to make sure she is safe from neck and spinal injuries. She will undergo another surgery on Monday, or sooner, for continued repairs of her broken hip/pelvis.

Megan is recovering at the Whellam’s house (sister Andi and her husband Andrew) in Wausau and Heidi is stable and resting in the hospital tonight. Megan will be very sore as she heals and Heidi will have a long road ahead with lots of rehab and healing to deal with. This is the physical part…there will be a lot of emotional healing to take place for all of us.

The driver of the oncoming vehicle that crossed the centerline and hit us died at the scene. We have been told that he was a 23 year old man who had his license revoked and he was driving his girlfriend’s truck. Obviously, this will create some difficulties as we move forward with the loss of a vehicle and mounting medical costs. We are aware that his family has been affected in a tragic way as a result of this accident, this is most unfortunate.

With that said, we are so grateful for life today. It is fragile, short, and precious. Events like this, while tragic and difficult, are reminders of God’s grace, mercy, and generosity. I love my family. I still have a wife and youngest daughter even after a deadly head-on collision at highway speed. We have a great family who supports us and an incredible network of friends anxiously waiting to hear that we are all OK.

Here’s how you can help…continue to pray for:

  • our emotional and physical healing and specifically for Heidi with a long haul ahead of her
  • wisdom and provision as we have recently entered a new chapter of life with another career change
  • the process of insurance, medical bills, police investigation, lost wages, attorneys, and all those necessary things that will need our attention

Heidi will be at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah for several days, she is in room 667. I will provide visiting updates soon. If you need to reach her please contact me first.

I will provide relevant updates on this website as I’m able to. Love to all of you (all y’all for my friends and relatives in the South).

Brian & family

Philippians 4:13

20 thoughts on “A Difficult Thanksgiving…but we are very grateful

  1. We are praying w all of you. I’m only a drive away. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Thankful for life, with y’all

  2. I’m so glad to hear that they are alive. Heidi is strong (not that you need anyone to tell you that). With God ANYTHING is possible. You taught me that and it’s important in the upcoming and very trying months to keep that in your mind as well.(: I know my parents, siblings, fiancé and I will continue to pray for your family and that Heidi and Megan both make full recoveries. I know there isn’t much we can do from down here but know you’re in all of our thoughts and prayers.<3

  3. Oh my, Brian, there are no words to express how sorry I am that this happened. We know that nothing comes as a surprise to our Abba Daddy and I thank Him that He was right there with Heidi & Megan. I pray the family of the other driver can feel His presence as well. Prayers for physical & emotional healing for everyone.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy
    my prayers and thoughts are with you all.
    as we lean on Jesus–he will be enough. one step at a time! he who is in us is greater than the world! love in Christ.

  5. Prayers for you all in this difficult time. I’m so very thankful Heidi and Megan are alive. Many thoughts are with you and when Heidi is up for visitors I’d like to come see her.

  6. You are in the prayers at the Garris home! Love you all and am beyond great full that you are all alive. Thank you for the update. Don’t ever forget how much you are loved.

  7. Brian, I’m so happy your family is OK. We went through a very similar accident scenario with my mom about 8 years ago. Please tell Heidi to pay attention to any pain even if it seems minor in the days to come as the pain meds wear off. With my mom’s multiple injuries, they missed a broken ankle in the initial surgeries. Then the pain meds masked its pain, causing mom to think it was minor when it wasn’t. To make a long story short, had it been caught earlier, it would have saved her a lot of trouble. Your family will be in our thoughts during recovery. It’s a long journey, but the day will come when things return to normal and the accident will be a distant memory.

  8. We have just heard about the accident and our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to all of you! Life can change in a split second, as it is so very important to embrace and cherish all that the Lords blessings. We are so thankful that Heidi and Megan survived such a devastating accident and will pray for both to heal, physically and emotionally. We wish we were geographically closer to help, but know that you are all in our prayers.

  9. Hi Brian, I’m so shocked to hear about this. I’ll be praying for Heidi and Meg, you and the whole family. May the Lord heal completely all of the wounds physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Please pass my love along to Heidi and Megan. I love you brother.

  10. Praising God for Heidi and Megan’s lives and also praying for the family that lost their son. Will continue to keep your entire family in our thoughts and prayers.

  11. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. May Jesus continue to keep His hand upon Heidi and Megan as they heal. I also pray for continued strength for you Brian as well as your other daughters. God bless you and thank you so much for the reports.

  12. We were so sorry to hear about this. Our prayers are with Heidi and Meg, and the family of the young man who was killed; and also with you and everyone else who has been affected by this tragedy.

  13. Bryan and family, so sorry to hear about Heidi
    . I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. I worked with Heidi at Marvin’s house.

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