Valley family sending thanks to the community who came to their aid

People in the community were reaching out to offer their help or just a comforting word.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:23 PM EDT
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MOUNT SIDNEY, Va. (WHSV) - Sarah Blackwell is finding her new normal after her husband and three of their kids were in a crash in early August.

Her husband, Wallace Blackwell, didn’t survive. The three kids in the car pulled through.

“I went to work that afternoon, at closing time, at 8:00, an officer showed up looking for me to inform me that my kids and my husband was in a bad car accident,” Sarah said.

Her kids, ages 12, 11 and eight, were transported to UVA Medical Center. She learned later, at around midnight, that Wallace had passed. Sarah described him as the perfect partner.

“He was everything. Great cook, he cleaned, everything you would ever want,” she said with a smile.

In their case, opposites attracted.

“He was very quiet. We were literally like Yin and Yang. I’m so bubbly and out and he was just calm, cool and collected. He loved his kids to no end. He loved music.”

She didn’t even have time to grieve her husband. Her kids were in the ICU. The 11 and 12 year old were there for six days each. Her youngest spent 31 days at UVA - from Aug. 4 until Sept. 4.

“Right then and there, they were my number one priority. There was nothing more that anybody could’ve done for my husband, so my main focus was my kids – get them back, get them healthy.”

When she could, she saw the messages. She heard the voicemails.

People in the community were reaching out to offer their help or just a comforting word.

“It was just, everybody just pulled together being on prayer chains at churches and just everybody, people stopping by here just to check in,” she said.

Close friends, acquaintances and total strangers were donating money through a Go Fund Me, and one group hosted a Bingo Game for the Blackwells.

“I want to thank everybody for the support, the calls the texts, the everything.”

Sarah’s eight-year-old is going to school two hours a day now as he recovers.

Navigating grief is hard, but it’s a reminder of what they have. Things could’ve been worse, she said.

For coverage of the crash on Aug. 4, click here.