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Houston, Mo. family recovering after head-on collision

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:39 PM CDT
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HOUSTON, Mo. (KY3) - Communities in Texas County are coming together to support a well-known family involved in a head-on car crash Tuesday night.

Missouri Highway Patrol said Rowland Pearson hit Heather Copley head-on on Highway 17, just two miles from Roby, Missouri. Copley had her five children in the backseat at the time of the crash.

“There was no time to react. Nothing they can do," said the Copley’s family friend, Kassi Hillhouse.

Hillhouse said Heather suffered a broken ankle and lacerations to the face. She said three of the children suffered minor injuries and are at home, but two of the children are being treated at Mercy Springfield Hospital.

“Kipp is the one is in the hospital with brain trauma, which they believe will heal on his own," said Hillhouse.

The oldest son, 10-year-old Cash, has been in and out of surgery since the crash.

“Traumatic brain injury with skull fractures, air pockets, and brain bleeds, severe vertebrae and spinal cord issue, face/orbital fractures, collapsed lung, fluid/blood on outside and inside of lung, and severe pulmonary contusions," said Hillhouse.

Hillhouse said surrounding communities are coming together to support the Copleys through vigils, donations, benefits and the most powerful prayer.

She said the family wants to forgive Pearson.

“The person that hit him is in critical condition. They’ve forgiven the man. It’s not about that. It doesn’t matter what happened. It matters what’s going happening from here and how they heal as a family. Ways as a community we can help," said Hillhouse.

State records show that Pearson’s been charged with other reckless driving incidents in years past.

Hillhouse said close ones are planning a 5k fundraiser at Emmett Kelly Park in Houston on September 26 at 10 a.m., along with a benefit meal and auction on Sunday, October 25 at 1 p.m. on the Houston Fairgrounds.

The Legacy Bank and Trust in Plato, Missouri, also has ways community members can donate directly into an account for the Copley family.

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