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Family of crash victim asking for prayers

Updated: Wednesday, June 25 2014, 06:05 AM EDT

By: Maria Miller

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- The family of a man hurt when a tree crashed onto the car he was driving is still struggling to understand why it happened. It was a 'freak accident' that happened along Route 403 in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, Monday afternoon.

Police said Jason Himebaugh, 36, was driving the car. His pregnant girlfriend, Ashley Lichty, 26, and her four young girls were also inside. Two of the girls, Ryleigh Freiwald, 8, and Macayla Freiwald, 6, were tragically killed.

Jason Himebaugh's family talked with 6 News Tuesday evening outside Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center where he and Lichty are recovering in the ICU.

"He went into surgery yesterday to repair an injury to his tongue and they had him in the ICU. They had him intubated," said Jesse Himebaugh, Jason Himbaugh's brother.

"He has a bad concussion. They had him into surgery but he really [doesn't] remember much of anything," said Jason Himebaugh's mother, Carole Varner.

The unborn baby, about 8 months along, is said to be doing fine. She's the first for the couple and the only glimmer of hope after a horrific couple of days.

"Just pray for my son, and for my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter that's still here ... And for my babies that we lost," asked Varner.

"Just please be there for the family and please keep them in your prayers," asked Dan Gorgone, a friend of the family.

"We need all the prayers we can get," added Varner.

There have been some funds already established to help the family.

Two of Lichty's friends told 6 News they plan on holding cans to collect money at Thunder in the Valley this weekend. They've created the "Two Angels" fund for people to donate to at any First Summit Bank. The women have also created GoFundMe donation account. As of Tuesday night the fund has already received more than $3,000.

"It's pretty powerful to see that people actually care," said Katrina Pappas. "We both knew that something had to be done, that there was going to be funeral costs, that they were going to have these bills and that they knew they were going to need paid. So we knew we needed to do something."

"They need all the support they can get, financial, prayers, anything that can be done to help them," said Susan Helsop. "It's just something ... I don't know how anyone can get through, I don't."

To donate to the fund, visit

Family of crash victim asking for prayers

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times