GARDNER, Kan. — A family is working through the pain of losing not one, but two people they love.
A Gardner couple was killed Saturday after their motorcycle crashed. Jason and Julie Huen were on Interstate 35, just outside Gardner, when their motorcycle hit a deer and crashed into the guard rail.
“I hear that thump like somebody’s at the door,” Julie’s mom Brigitte Decker said.
It was a knock on the door Decker will never forget. She answered and saw police.
“They were asking me, ‘Are you Brigitte Decker?’ and I said yes and your daughter, Julie Decker, and I knew, I knew by then something happened,” Decker said.
That’s when Decker and her husband learned their 27-year-old daughter and her son-in-law were killed.
“It’s a real big gap,” Decker said.
“I just fell apart,” Crystal Fritz said. “My world just collapsed, and I just fell apart.”
Jason didn’t have siblings, but Fritz was the sister he chose.
“He had the biggest heart,” Fritz said. “He would do anything for his friends. If he met you on the street, he would want to try to be your friend, and he loved fiercely. Like when he loved you, he loved you for life.”
Fritz said Julie made her best friend of 25 years a better person.
“That’s how she was,” Decker said. “She would give somebody the last shirt off her body.”
Decker said she was a hard worker. Julie moved to the U.S. from Germany in 2005, graduated high school in three years, went on to college and landed her dream job at a local law firm in June.
“They all like to work with her,” Decker said. “It was very seldom that somebody didn’t like Julie. She was very, very liked.”
Jason and Julie were building a life with their family of five. Together they had 3-year-old Shelby. Jason also had two sons. Julie loved them like they were her own.
“Those were her boys,” Fritz explained. “She was Momma Julie.”
Now Decker is left looking into her granddaughter’s eyes after two lives were taken too soon.
“Seeing my daughter, seeing Jason, that’s basically — that’s what it is,” Decker said. “They went together, and they’re going to stay together. Nobody has to wait for one or the other. As hard as it is and as big of a hole they leave, at least they have that. Nobody can take that from them.”
Authorities said a second motorcycle hit debris from the deer and crashed. The rider was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The family has set up a fundraising account for the children called the Julie Huen Fund. If you would like to donate, you can mail cash or a check to Arvest Bank, 306 E. Main St., Gardner, Kan., 66030.
You can find the couple’s obituary and funeral service information here.