KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Olathe teenager is no longer with us and his father and brother are fighting for their lives at the University of Kansas Health System.
His mom, Missey Payne, struggles to speak her late son’s name. Caden, 14, was killed in a terrible crash on June 5, 2020. Payne’s husband, Jared and another son, Ethan were badly burned and injured – but still alive.
“I just I can’t wake up from this nightmare,” Payne said.
Edwardsville Police said the crash happened on I-435 and Kansas Ave. Jared was driving a Ford-F150. He changed lanes and collided with a semi.
The truck spun out of control, struck a bridge pillar and burst into flames, according to police.
Close family friend Ryan Nett drove from Wisconsin to Kansas City the minute he heard what had happened. Nett served in the Army with Jared. They’re family.
“You hug ‘em all goodbye and as an uncle, you expect ‘em at the age of 14 to be there next time you come back and see ‘em and knowing that you’re not getting that,” Nett said with tears in his eyes, “it’s just hard.”
It’s going to be a long road to recovery for Jared and Ethan. They’re both at the University of Kansas Hospital.
Payne said 80-percent of Ethan’s body is burned. He’s already been through six surgeries.
“There’s still so man risks for infections. He still has so many surgeries to go and he’s fighting for his life,” Payne said.
So is her husband with burns on 30-percent of his body. Doctors said his left Clavicle is fractured and he will need surgery on his left arm and leg.
Their daughter, Trinity, misses her father and brothers.
“Ethan, Caden and me were like best friends,” Trinity said.
Ethan play Football at McPherson College. This tight-knit family moved back to Kansas City so they could be close and go to his games.
“Anything to see our older brother play football,” Trinity said.
Caden was going to be a freshman at Olathe North High School. He took after his older brother playing the saxophone in the band.
“He always had a big passion for music,” Trinity said holding a photo of Caden. “So, he was pretending like he was a rockstar here holding a guitar.”
“He was full of life,” Payne said. “He did the weirdest things just to make everyone smile.”
As Payne’s husband and son continue fighting for their lives, she knows there’s an angel now looking over their family.
They made t-shirts with Caden’s picture, “on the back we put some wings on there with his full name,” Trinity said.
Payne said they will have a special service for Caden once Ethan and Jared are out of the hospital.
If you would like to donate to help the family with medicals bills, here is a link to the GoFundMe account. Payne Family Fund