A 9-year-old girl and her father were still in the hospital Sunday evening after a car accident Saturday involving their family of four.
A car carrying mother Sarah Tawney, father Cole Tawney, and their two children, Payton Tawney and Rowan Tawney, collided with a truck carrying three adults Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Illinois 4 and U.S. 50, sending both vehicles into a deep ditch.
Rowan, 7, was airlifted to Cardinal Glennon and Cole was taken to SLU via an ARCH helicopter, Michele Mitchell Jenkins, the children’s maternal grandmother, said. Sarah and Payton were taken by ambulance to local hospitals.
Payton remains at Cardinal Glennon — where she was transferred to — and has a large gash on her forehead and a fractured pelvis. Cole is still in the ICU with a torn spleen, broken pelvis, broken jaw and many bruises and lacerations, Jenkins said. His vitals, however, are good, she said.
Rowan was released early Sunday morning after a plastic surgeon stitched a large gash above his eye, according to Jenkins.
“It [the gash] was so close to his eye, we were lucky his eye wasn’t damaged,” Jenkins said.
Sarah was also released from the hospital Sunday morning.
Jenkins specifically thanks Dave Sickler, who was in the nearby Casey’s General store at the time of the accident. Sickler, who was an EMT for 15 years, stabilized the father’s head and kept his airway open until EMS arrived.
“I believe that Dave Sickler with his quick action saved our son-in-law’s life,” Jenkins said.
Sickler said he rushed to help the father, who was the driver of the car, when he saw Cole was unconscious and struggling to breathe.
“Instinct takes over and you just put into place the skills you once had,” Sickler said. “I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Jenkins also thanked the first responders and others who helped during the crash.
“We would also like to thank everyone for their thoughtful actions and prayers,” Jenkins said. “Our friends and the community have been so kind and supportive. We are very blessed.”
Heather Jenkins, Sarah’s sister-in-law, started a Go-Fund-Me page for the family.
“While everyone is going to be OK, thank God, the road to recovery is going to be long and hard,” the page reads. “With both Sarah and Cole not able to work, we wanted to try to help support them in this tragic time.”
The occupants of the truck, three adults, suffered no injuries during the accident.