The eldest son of seven children is now acting as guardian to his younger siblings after his parents were killed in a horrific car crash last month.
On April 30, Scott and Jennifer Owens, and six of their children were driving to their home in Plano, Texas, from a camping trip in Sulphur Springs, when they got in the wreck, WFAA reported.
Camping was a regular pastime for the family, their eldest son, 23-year-old Ethan Owen, told WFAA.
“It seemed like they were always planning their next camping trip,” he said.
Scott and Jennifer died from injuries they sustained in the wreck, while two of their children were critically injured.
Ethan wasn’t in the car at the time of the crash. Suddenly, in addition to losing two of the most important people in his life, he became responsible for his six younger siblings, the youngest of whom is 5 years old.
Ethan was making a decision for his brother’s emergency surgery when he learned of his parents’ deaths.
“It was like someone tearing out my heart,” he told WFAA. “It hurt – a lot.”
The family is well-known in their community and are staples at the First Baptist Church of Plano, where they would normally sit in the pew two rows from the front.
“When it was the whole family, they took up the entire pew,” family friend Joy Weber told WFAA.
Scott would play guitar during the service, while Jennifer would provide interpretations in sign language.
The church’s pastor, Craig Curry, told WFAA that Ethan is “showing a lot of strength.”
When asked how he’s going to raise his siblings, Ethan answered, “I have no idea.”
Ethan’s siblings who were injured in the crash — Dalton and McKayla — are now talking and are no longer in serious condition.
“We prayed to God for that, and we believe in the power of prayer,” Curry said of the children’s recovery.
On Mother’s Day, Ethan called his mother’s cell phone, knowing that she wouldn’t pick up.
In a message, he told he, “I love you. I miss you, and Happy Mother’s Day,” Ethan said.
We continue to pray for and support Ethan and the entire Owen family. We believe in the power of prayer and it has been…
Curry’s wife, Fallon Curry, said Jennifer and Owen “loved the Lord with all their hearts.”
The couple were also in a cowboy band, and Ethan has been comforting himself by listening to their songs.
“It’s nice hearing them,” he said. “I can still sing with them.”
Ethan’s grandmother and other family members will take in his youngest siblings, and Ethan will have to sign to relinquish guardianship. The family is still trying to determine if Scott and Jennifer left a will, Ethan said.
Ethan works at the Outback Steakhouse in Garland, Texas. The restaurant donated a portion of its tips from Tuesday to the Owen family.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family.