Six children were still hospitalized after a crash killed their mother in Columbia on Tuesday.
Emily M. Webb, 41, died at Illinois 3 and Veterans Parkway when a dump truck driven by 86-year-old Donald Eccher, of Millstadt, collided with her family's SUV about 12:30 p.m.
The seven family members were in the Chevrolet Tahoe, and the six children were taken to the hospital, Columbia police Chief Jerry Paul said.
Michelle Bumb Miller, Emily Webb's cousin, said the children range in ages from 4 to 13. She added that Emily Webb and her husband, Bryan Webb, met in high school and had been together for almost 15 years.
Miller said the family was very involved in their local church in Columbia and the two were "fantastic parents."
"Emily was a very dedicated wife and mother to her family. She always put others first, she was always interested in how everyone else was doing," Miller said. "She was very religious, she would pray for people in support of them."
Miller said now, it seems, people are returning Emily Webb's kindness with prayers and support of their own.
A GoFundMe for the family Miller began on Tuesday night raised more than $27,000 by Wednesday afternoon.
"Since I started the GoFundMe, there has been an outreaching of support from people not only who currently were in contact (with Emily), but also from people who have grown up with her, who have known of her for a long time," Miller said. "She has made a very positive difference in many people's lives throughout her life."
Miller said Brian Webb, Emily Webb's husband, reflected on his wife's dedication to their family.
"He's super dad. He's completely involved in their lives," she said.
Tuesday night, community members gathered for a prayer vigil held at Hope Christian Church in Columbia.
The driver of the dump truck was also hospitalized for injuries.
Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6