Firefighter Dad Unknowingly Pulls His Own Daughter From Deadly Car Crash

Heartbreaking 39

On Christmas Eve morning, volunteer firefighter Steve Whitcomb was called to crash site involving three vehicles. As a first responder, he pulled a dying woman out of a mangled SUV -- before realizing that it was his youngest daughter, 30-year-old Katie Hamilton.

The Brookline, New Hampshire native worked at her dad’s plumbing business, and was described as a big part of the community. The town of about 5,000 is mourning the loss, especially since Katie was also the mother of three young daughters.

She had just dropped her girls (ages 9, 4, and 2) off at her parents’ house to go to work when she was rear-ended. The impact sent her into oncoming traffic, and another driver hit her. She died at the scene, but the other drivers weren’t injured.

I guess the only bright spot in the story is that Katie didn’t die alone, but with someone that she loved. We don’t know if she was conscious at all, but just being there with someone in their last few moments, and knowing they weren’t alone, may bring a measure of peace to her family eventually.

Her husband Liam said he tried to make Christmas as normal as possibly for their daughters. The little one was confused and asked where Mommy was. Her 4-year-old sister said, “Mommy died.” Does that just break your heart?

Liam took the girls to the Whitcomb’s home for Christmas. He said, “You grieve and then you try to put it all back together.”

Katie was a big supporter of the local fire department, and could often be found passing out food at fire scenes or organizing fundraisers.

It’s obvious that she will be missed.

Have you ever lost someone close to the holidays?


Image via Valerie Everett/Flickr

accidents, death, in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

proud... proudmommy690

Omg this is so heartbreaking!!! :(

Kattey Kattey

This is heart wrenching, I hope the man who rear-ended her faces some serious repercussions. He must have hit her pretty hard to send her into oncoming traffic.

nonmember avatar mel

Truly sad . Makes me very thankful to be here with my child even if life is a bit bumpy right now for us.

nonmember avatar Sophie

This is heartbreaking. My Great Grandmother still to this day is upset by christmas from her fathers death on Christmas eve. Hopefully the holidays will become a time of remembrance and love for those beautiful girls.

nonmember avatar Jessica

I lost my dad the Thursday before Easter 2013. It'll be 9 months tomorrow

nonmember avatar Christy

My children lost their dad(my ex-husband and one of my best friends) October 28.2012 to homicide. Halloween through Christmas are not easy.

Megan... MeganJune03

My husbands grandfather (his moms dad) passed November 22nd of this year he would of been 84 on the 22nd of December (my husbands birthday is Dec 23rd and his moms is today). We always celebrated all 3 birthdays at once.  We didn't this year and today we are going through grandma and grandpas home because it is being sold now that grandma is in a nursing home. 

December 25th 2001 (when I was 18) my great grandmother, my moms grandma on her moms side, passed.  Christmas is very hard for me.

nonmember avatar Ali

Such a heartbreaking story. May the family and kids find some kind of peace soon. Sounds like they lost a great women!

Traci... Traci_Momof2

That's one of my greatest fears - is being killed in a car accident and leaving my children motherless.  I hope this family can find a way to still keep some happiness in Christmas every year.

Seems like the driver who hit her first (pushing her into the oncoming lane) has some explaining to do.

nonmember avatar NoWay

This is a very sad story. I am from NH so I heard about it shortly after it hapened. And, yes, I have lost a family memeber during the holidays. My children's great-grandfather passed away on Thanksgiving day this year. My grandfather passed away on December 20th 20 years ago, but I still remember going to a funeral on December 23rd.

1-10 of 39 comments 1234 Last