GLOBE, AZ — A Globe pastor and his eight-year-old daughter are recovering after nearly dying in a crash earlier this month.
Nick Jones and his daughter Samantha both had to be airlifted to Valley hospitals after the collision with a semi-truck on November 3.
The crash happened at the intersection of U.S. 60 and Highway 77, while Nick was taking Sam to school in the morning.
Globe police told ABC15 their officers smashed a car window to quickly remove Sam and get her into an ambulance.
Unfortunately, Nick was trapped and much harder to extricate. Police said it took more than an hour and a half before they were able to cut the roof off and get Nick into a helicopter.
Both daughter and father were airlifted to Valley hospitals, where they have been ever since.
"I’ve been splitting my time between both hospitals. I sleep here at Phoenix Children's [Hospital], with Samantha. Then I head over to see Nick during the day [at Chandler Regional]," said Laura Jones, Nick's wife, and Sam's mother.
"It's pretty emotionally draining."
Laura said Nick has broken legs, a broken left arm, broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, and an injury to his neck.
"But his brain is healthy, and his organs are good so we are praising God that he can talk to us and he’s going to walk again," said Laura.
Sam had less severe injuries but still needed surgery to check on the internal bruising she got from her seatbelt.
She is also experiencing intense neck pain and headaches, according to her mom.
"She said, 'It scares me when I think about the accident.' And that just breaks my heart," said Laura.
The family of four is now staring down months of rehab and mounting medical bills, all on a pastor's salary.
When asked how the family is going to pay all of the medical bills, Laura replied, "I don’t know right now."
"We do have insurance but, in our life up to this point, God has provided for everything that we need, above and beyond," Laura said.
The community has also stepped up to alleviate some of the stress and give back to the family that has poured into so many Globe families.
"They’ve really come around us. I’ve received so many wonderful messages from people just expressing their love for us," said Laura.
A fundraiser online has raised more than $14,000 in less than two weeks. The family will likely need more money to cover all of the expenses, past and future.
Ultimately though, the family is relying on their faith and focusing on God's blessings.
"I feel like God has been with us," said Laura. "In the ways that he has protected Nick's brain, his organs, and just every little thing."
Laura said she believes seatbelts saved her husband and daughter's lives, and she encourages parents to keep their kids in booster seats until they are old enough to be safely buckled in.
As for the crash itself, Globe PD is still investigating. They tell ABC15 the driver was not impaired and no citations have been issued at this time.