The images were brutal.
Daily papers and the nearby Monticello Times carried photos of two cars wrecked beyond recognition. They had been intertwined for a brief second, until one careened through a busy Monticello intersection and came to rest on the side of the road.
“How,” thought so many of us, “could anyone survive that.”
Fortunately, this is a happy story for St. Michael’s Kolles family, and their relatives Travis, Layton and Chrissy Kolles, who live in Monticello.
While the man who struck them is facing charges of criminal vehicular operation and won’t be allowed behind the wheel, Travis took a drivers test and is back behind the wheel.
And, most importantly, the Kolles family has grown. Just three months after life could have been lost, the family updated followers of its Caringbridge.org site that it has welcomed home Nash Robert Kolles, a little brother for Layton.
The man who nearly killed Travis and Layton, a Monticello man named Kevin Greene, also will stand trial on charges for theft-armed robbery after holding up a Big Lake establishment. He was also under the influence of alcohol when he slammed his Suburban into the Kolles’ Honda Accord.
He also violated his probation from a separate theft conviction in 2012.
Since the accident, Layton has had some therapy, but was mostly spared by the amazing technology of the modern car seat.
Travis, however, has recovered from broken ribs, a major head injury and has been through outpatient therapy.
All of that led up to medical costs for a family that was already preparing for a hospital stay in September when it was set to welcome Baby No. 2.
Local supporters raised more than $6,000 to some of those costs via a YouCare site, set up by family members.
With the summer behind them, the Kolleses are focused on Halloween, the holidays and “getting back to normal.”
Without a doubt, it’s something that any of us who saw those pictures could not have imagined in the days following the crash.