Alaska sisters critically injured on way home from Bible camp
Alaska is a big state but a tight-knit community for members of Churches of Christ.
After a head-on collision Sunday that left two girls from a Fairbanks congregation critically wounded, that community is coming together to pray and reach out to the victims.
Brittany Bennett, 16, and her sister, Erika Bennett, 10, whose family attends the Northern Lights Church of Christ in Fairbanks, were taken by medical helicopter to an Anchorage hospital.
A note on the Anchorage Church of Christ website:
We are asking for your prayers for two families.
While driving home to Fairbanks after a weekend at Midnight Sun Bible Camp, Roxanne Stickel, her two children, and the four Bennett children were involved in a serious accident. Everyone was injured after being struck by another vehicle and rolling multiple times down a 30 ft. embankment. Roxanne has minor injuries and has been released from the hospital. At this time Kaylee & Jesse Stickel are in the Fairbanks Hospital but Brianna and Donald Bennett are at home.
However, Erika and Brittany Bennett were medivaced to Providence Hospital in Anchorage and are now in stable but critical condition. Brittany has undergone surgery. Their parents, Don and Jennifer are with them at the hospital
A blog has been set up to update Brittany and Erika’s conditions.
According to a press release from Alaska State Troopers, everyone was wearing a seatbelt, and alcohol was not involved. Both vehicles were totaled.
The Daily News-Miner in Fairbanks reported:
Troopers concluded Fairbanks resident Roxanne Stickel, 46, was driving a 2006 Chevy Tahoe when she came upon Fairbanks resident Nathan Collin, 52, driving a 2003 Toyota Tacoma in the wrong lane. Stickel apparently switched into the southbound lane to avoid him, but Collin also changed lanes, knocking Stickel’s vehicle into a ditch. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident.
Stickel was traveling with six children between the ages of 10 and 16, and all seven passengers (including Stickel) were trapped in the car. Emergency vehicles had to remove the roof of the Tahoe to help the victims escape. Both drivers escaped with minor injuries, two children were taken to Canyon Clinic for treatment and four were medevaced to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. A 10-year-old girl and 16-year-old girl were moved to Anchorage were they were listed in critical condition.
The two critically injured girls attended the first two days of the Juneau Church of Christ’s Vacation Bible School last week and then flew north Friday to join their family at the Midnight Sun Bible Camp, north of Anchorage, said Kathryn Clemens, a member of the Juneau congregation along with her husband, Mike.
Clemens told The Christian Chronicle in an e-mail:
“The Bennett family has lived and worshiped in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks and are active and loved wherever they are. Don Jr., the father, grew up in Juneau, where his mother is an active member. … Jennifer, the mom, also grew up in a church home. … The church in Alaska isn’t very large so something like this affects us all.”
Alaska has 26 Churches of Christ with about 2,400 men, women and children in the pews on any given Sunday, according to the most recent edition of Churches of Christ in the United States.
Read the Chronicle’s March 2008 feature on “Reaching the last frontier” in Alaska.
FeedbackPraying for this precious family.Lisa D. BrewerAugust, 11 2011Praying for their healing from Russellville Kentucky.Steve KenneyAugust, 11 2011Montgomery shares in your struggle to recuperate! Blessings to you all!Alan KayeAugust, 11 2011Uncle Bill and Aunt Sally wish the girls a very speedy and healthy recovery.We love you two darlings and pray for you daily.Donnie and Jennifer, love to you, and prayers are coming as fast as we can voice them. You all are in our hearts and hope all is well.
love Aunt Sally and Uncle Billuncle bill and aunt sally bennettAugust, 11 2011We are pulling for a fast recovery of Brittany and Erika. We are close by our Alaska family. Love, Aunt Sally & Uncle BillBILL BENNETTAugust, 12 2011My thoughts and Prayers go to my aunt Roxanne and my two cousins and the other family who was involved. Thank God no one was killed in this horrible accident!Michael hammittAugust, 12 2011More prayers just went up for girls and their family as they deal with this trying time. In Christian Love,RuthAugust, 12 2011Dear Tim and family,
I have just heard of the accident and am burdened to hear of your precious family. Our prayers will be with you, my brother.
Don MyersDon MyersAugust, 12 2011Dear Families,
May the Lord hold and keep you in His Love and Care.
So many people are praying for you.
Know you are LOVED,
Laura J. RR
Montgomery, ALLaura Russell-Richerzhagen, Faulkner University – Montgomery, ALAugust, 12 2011Dear Brother and Sister Stickel,
We were so sorry to hear about the accident and are praying all will recover soon.
In Him…Warren and CindyCindy and Warren SalyerAugust, 12 2011Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family and the others involved in the accident. May God bless you with his healing hand.
Carl and Augustine Cheatham, University Church and Faulkner UniversityDr. Carl CheathamAugust, 13 2011Praying that the family is improving and the two girls are out of danger and soon home. Thinking of Don & Jennifer who are struggleing to take care of so many injured. Darlene Larson, Wellington, Kansas Church of Christ member.Darlene LarsonAugust, 14 2011Tim,
Many prayers are going up from Montgomery for all those affected.
Faulkner UniversityPatrick DalyAugust, 15 2011We go to church at WFR Church of Christ with Linda Hammett, she is my forever sister who has us all praying for her earthly sister and family! Gods speedy recovery to your family!Annette PowellAugust, 15 2011You have been in our prayers since we heard about the accident. We hope and Pray that all goes well with everyone involved and God is
watching over the families…Patricia SmithAugust, 15 2011Tim, please know that your friends at Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama, are praying and thinking of you and your family every day. Those of us who are parents can only imagine the experience Roxanne is going through. Hug her for us. The Bennetts will remain in our thoughts and prayers.Wayne and Darlene Baker, York CollegeAugust, 15 2011Please know that both the Bennett and Stickel families are in our prayers, as well as being prayed for by our congregation at Lehigh Valley Church of Christ, PA. It is heartbreaking to read about what these precious families are going through, but each new day brings a little progress and new blessings. You will remain in our prayers and on our hearts. God bless you.Tina Mitchell AntonelliAugust, 16 2011