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