A Wisconsin family is grieving after a tragic farming accident claimed the lives of a father and son. The father, 51-year-old Daniel Briel and his son, 14-year-old David Briel, were working inside a silo when an “internal collapse of silage” caused the pair to become trapped in the massive container. Briel’s older son, Caleb, was also with them inside when the collapse took place but was able to scramble out of the silo before it was too late.
“In the farming world these accidents do happen, but they usually don’t lead to death,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told KMSP-TV. “This one was just a tragic accident.”
It took rescuers a painstaking 45 minutes to retrieve the pair from the container, as they were forced to use thermal imaging to locate them. Dan was dead when he was lifted out of the silo, with David passing shortly afterward.
“I have peace knowing that he was praying with our son,” declared grieving widow and mother Melissa Briel. “I have peace knowing that he was holding onto our son.”
Melissa was out of town visiting their oldest son, Ben, when she got the devastating news.
“This time of the year silage gets caught up on the side and you have to get it off when it warms, but it just so happened to be too big of a chunk,” she explained.
Despite the horrific loss, Briel is determined to cling to her steadfast faith in Jesus as her family attempts to piece their lives back together. “God is good even through hard times,” Briel declared. “I want people to take away that God is there and if you keep your faith in him he’s going to see you through.”
The situation is explained in more detail on a GoFundMe page set up to help the mourning family with their finances in the wake of this tragedy.
So far, over $76,000 of an $85,000 goal has been raised.
“If you are unable to help financially, please keep Melissa, Caleb, Ben, Abigail, Erika, and the entire family in your prayers,” the page notes. “They are a family whose love for God shows in everything they do and they will need all of His strength and love during this time.”
Messages of condolence and prayer have been pouring in for the family.
“Praying for you. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding fill your hearts with that divine peace. We have a hope that goes beyond the grave,” one person commented on the GoFundMe page.
“May the Lord comfort you during this difficult hour. He has promised us.. ‘I will never leave thee or forsake thee’ – Hebrews 13:5,” wrote another.
Say a prayer for this devastated family today — that they might be comforted by God himself, and that they might find peace despite being the middle of such a horrific time.