Franklin Police Holds Toy Drive In Honor Of Crash Victims

Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 06, 2016

On Feb. 16, 2015, an SUV flipped on Interstate 65 in Franklin right in front of Kristi Clark's car. It was snowy, roads were icy, but Kristi stopped to help, along with her 10-year-old son Carter.

Kristi's father, Brad Lewis, will always remember where he was when he heard what happened next.

"I was in bed. It was 11:30. I woke up to the news," Lewis said.

A semi hit a sheet of ice and Kristi and Carter couldn't get out of the way. Both died.

"When I heard that was what happened, it hurt even more – that she stopped to help those people and ultimately she lost her life and my grandson’s," Lewis said.

Kristi was always helping others - through charity work and acts of kindness for friends and strangers. That determination to help others is why Lewis chose to channel his grief into something positive this Christmas.

"When Kristi and Carter died, it really lit a fire under me," he said.

Lewis began building ten wooden toy boxes with the intent to donate them. He planned to give the boxes to charities who could collect toys to fill them, and then give them away to families in need before December 25.

He started by calling the police department that responded to the scene where his daughter and grandson died.

"He asked if we'd be willing to take a box to fill with toys," said Franklin Police Chief Deborah Faulkner. "I of course said, without thinking or hesitating, 'Absolutely, the police would love to have those.'"

The Franklin Police Department hopes to fill all ten boxes before Christmas. They're asking for unwrapped toys for children 12 years old or younger to be dropped off at their headquarters.

For Lewis, Kristi and Carter's final moments defined how they lived - always helping others.

A story he hopes will live on through donations, with a little help from strangers.