Boy Killed During Thanksgiving Outing With Dad Saves the Lives of 3 Children

Colton Williams

A South Carolina family was left devastated Thursday after a tragic accident claimed the life of one of their own. Nine-year-old Colton Williams was accidentally shot and killed by his father on Thanksgiving Day during a hunting trip gone terribly wrong. But now, less than a week after his death, the family has shared one small glimmer of hope amid their despair: Colton's organs were harvested and have helped save the lives of three children since his passing.

  • Colton, who had just started fourth grade this fall, was out hunting rabbits with his dad and his friend when his father accidentally shot him.

    He has since been remembered by all those who knew him as a kind and caring friend, as well as a promising student. Colton was on the honor roll at Kelly Edwards Elementary School in Williston, South Carolina, where he was popular and well-liked, according to Fox 61

    Colton's grandfather, Vince Furtick, told the outlet that his grandson also "took piano lessons, won the marksmanship award at camp, loved every sport and was a huge Clemson Tigers fan."

    His classmates and school administrators were expected to take his loss hard on Monday. 

    "Nine years old?" an unidentified school official told Fox 61. "That's going to hurt the classmates and everything else and the principal. Everybody knows him."

  • Advertisement
  • According to his grandpa, the 9-year-old had everything ahead of him, and loved hunting, fishing, and being outdoorsy.

    In fact, he'd just caught his first fish a few weeks ago, while out on a fishing trip with Furtick.

    "God has Colton in his arms now and we truly miss him, but rest in the knowledge that we will see him again one day," Furtick wrote in a Facebook post. “He was the brightest light in our lives and he will be missed greatly.”

  • If there's any comfort to be gained in his death, it's that Colton has saved the lives of three people by donating his two kidneys and liver.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Williamses, on behalf of family friend Colin Ashe, to help cover funeral costs.

    "His parents, Brian Williams and Caiti Furtick are two of the best people I have ever met," the page description read. "This devastating loss to their family is so heartbreaking. I want to ease this burden any way I can."

    Because the fundraising goal already has been exceeded, donations beyond funeral costs will go toward helping other children enjoy the natural world.

    "Colton would have wanted other kids to experience the outdoors like he did, especially those who don't have that opportunity," the page read. "[South Carolina Department of Natural Resources] partners with the Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund to allow kids to have that chance. The program is known as Take One Make One." 

    As for the boy's father, he is reportedly trying to navigate the loss with all the courage he can muster.

    "I was so proud when Colton’s dad comforted his family by saying, 'There are good days and there are bad days. Today is a bad day. But there will be good days to come,'" Furtick shared. "We struggle forward praying for the pain to ease."

    No charges have been filed in connection with the death, which has been ruled accidental.