Family and church thank first responders for help during deadly July 3rd incident
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- We're hearing from the family of a man killed after a fireworks display in Menomonee Falls on July 3rd.
An 18-year-old woman hit 24-year-old Benjamin and 25-year-old Emily Grace Reimers driving into the parking lot of the Pick N' Save near Appleton and Stadium, killing Benjamin and almost killing Emily Grace.
The congregation at Paul's Baptist church met on Sunday morning to thank the community, first responders and a higher power for all that's happened to them since this incident impacted their community.
"If the car had stay on its original course, it would have probably taken up 20, 30, 40 people," said Administrative Pastor Stephen Vangelderen.
He says minutes before an 18-year-old woman drove into the parking lot, he called his kids away from where the car ended up driving.
Vangelderen and his congregation say it's a miracle this wasn't a second Waukesha parade tragedy.
"We just thank God for His protection even though obviously two lives were touched," said Vangelderen.
Sunday, they gave thanks to the outpouring support from the community.
"We had gifts given, even sent to our church to give to their family, which we gave all to them. Or the GoFundMe page," said Vangelderen, "[it's an] unbelievable response."
Benjamin and Emily Grace's Father, Paul Reimers, says even though their family is from North Carolina, they've also had an outpour of support from Falls Baptist.
Members of the congregation say Benjamin was part of their family too.
Paul thanked first responders, like the Menomonee Falls police and the fire, who were in the audience.
"Everybody was on deck. Everybody was making it happen the best you could, want to thank you for that," said Paul, also thanking EMS. "And God blessed your efforts, [because Emily] Grace, she's here today."
Emily Grace says first and foremost she's thankful for God to be alive.
"I thank [God] for all those who have given up themselves to help me," said Emily grace, "specifically to the EMTs who worked tirelessly to help both Ben and I"
Menomonee Falls Fire Chief Gerald Washington says it meant a lot to hear those words.
"Just hearing some of the stories and an impact that we've had as a department and first responders which include police as well as fire EMS, on the family that was affected by this and community and the church community that was affected by this. It's very humbling," said Chief Washington.