Letter to the Editor: John family expresses gratitude for the community’s help after the tragic loss of their daughter in fatal crash

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

To our beloved Gila Valley community,

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, an accident occurred. We, the John family, lost one daughter, and another was injured but preserved. We would like to express our gratitude to the community for their overwhelming support and their outpouring of love and expressions of care.

Words are inadequate. You were there when the accident happened, and you’ve been there every hour of the day since. We are so very grateful.

Natalie John

We would like to share some of the miracles that have taken place in and around this incident.

We would like to explain that a fully loaded dump truck collided with a Suburban. In looking afterward, the driver’s half of the vehicle was compressed into the passenger side.

We lost Natalie, age 17, shortly after the impact, but her body is intact. That is a sheer miracle. On Friday, Oct. 21, there will be a viewing for the public at Vining Funeral Home at 6 p.m.

Melanie, age 15, was cared for by Good Samaritans who came to the scene before any first responders could arrive. We appreciate the calming help of those who stayed with her. In an inexplicable miracle, and by the power of all your prayers, she only received cracked ribs and some bruises.

The other driver is not at fault. In a heroic act, he crawled into the Suburban and tried to resuscitate Natalie. We can’t express how much we appreciate his courage and care.

John Family

In the ambulance, Melanie’s condition was not reassuring. We were preparing to lose our second daughter as they prepared to send her to Tucson by helicopter. However, we can only call it a miracle that upon arrival at the local hospital, and after the initial examination, they told us her injuries were not nearly as severe as we feared.

As further tests came in and she received more and more care, we can only ascribe it to a miracle that she is home now and walking on her own. She is in a positive attitude and is very grateful for the people coming to visit.

We know that Natalie was loved. She had such a sweet spirit and touched many lives. Those who knew her know that she was more angel than girl. Now she’s full angel, watching over us.

We are grateful for the people who received random hugs from Natalie because she would randomly choose people and hug them and speak with them, as part of her personality and care for those around her.

We appreciate your continued prayers, your fasting, your kindness, and your love. Please accept our gratitude.


Beau and Cami John