‘I was just terrified’: Friend recalls motorcycle crash that killed Gardner couple

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GARDNER, Kan. -- David Snelling is left broken after two of his best friends, someone he called his brother, were killed in a motorcycle crash.

"Just seeing them like that, they were so full of life," Snelling said, "Always doing something and usually for somebody else."

Jason and Julie Huen were headed to an event hosted by the VFW in Overland Park on July 13. Snelling and another friend were riding with them.

Although Snelling wasn't hurt in the crash he said friends and family of the Huen's are scarred.

"It's really just unforgettable the sounds that you hear. You know, the tires screeching, the metal scraping the ground and you just know it's bad."

Jason and Julie were killed. Snelling was riding with them when a deer jumped out in front of the Gardner couple on I-35, near 167th St. Snelling said he saw their bike hit something and crash into the guardrail.

"I looked up and just kinda saw an explosion," Snelling said. "I was just terrified. My thoughts immediately went to their kids."

Together, the couple has a 3-year-old. Jason also has two sons Julie treated as her own.

"Just such beautiful people and a beautiful family just to see it come to a screeching halt so fast, so sudden that it just, it breaks you," Snelling said.

Over the last seven years, their families became close. Snelling said the first time they met, Julie found out one of his six children was deaf. By the second time their families got together, Julie had taught herself sign language.

"And she was teaching the kids sign language," Snelling said. "Just so they could have a conversation with him, just because somebody she knew had a child that was deaf she was going to learn that so that she could be a better friend."

Snelling wants their caring and kind spirits to live on. He had his vest embroidered reading, "In loving memory of Jason and Julie Huen."

"And so when I ride and I have my vest on I'll always have that memory right there of them," Snelling said. And they'll be riding with me."

The family has set up a memorial fund for the children. Donations can be made to the 'Julie Huen Fund' at the Arvest Bank in Gardner, Kansas.

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