Fort Branch General Baptist Church Pastor Steve Akins has been at the hospital with the family since the accident Monday night. He tells 14 News the physical scars left by this accident are only the beginning of a long, very traumatic recovery.
"We cannot even imagine the horror they go through, so it's been very difficult for them obviously," Pastor Akins said.
The Lewis family was traveling east bound on Interstate 64 Monday evening when authorities say a semi crossed the median, blocked both eastbound lanes and forced their car to hit the rear of the semi.
Officials say Leanne and her daughters, Cyndi and Katy, were immediately taken to Evansville hospitals. Gibson County Sheriff George Ballard says it took two and a half hours to free Leanne's husband, Brian Lewis.
"Brian and Leanne have been very involved in the church in different areas. They've always been willing to help and lending a hand at any time we ask them to do it. They've just been a great couple as apart of our church family," Pastor Akins says.
Pastor Akins says the physical injuries are just the beginning. He was with Brian and Leanne when the couple learned their 11-year-old daughter, Katy, passed away during surgery.
"They're dealing with these injuries themselves and then the next part of that is they'll do with obviously the funeral of their daughter," Pastor Akins says.
Pastor Akins says the Lewis family has been a part of the Fort Branch General Baptist family for the past six or seven years. He says the congregation is reaching out to support one of their own.
"They're going to suffer some huge shocks these next few weeks and then the rest of their lives. It definitely is a changer for their lives, their entire lives and it's something that no parent ever wants to go through or could even imagine going through," Pastor Akins says.
We're told both Brian and Leanne are out of surgery and are recovering well. A family friend tells us Brian suffered multiple leg fractures and daughter, Cyndi, has a broken collar bone.
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