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Family wants to make sure the kids stay connected

3:19 AM, Jul 30, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) -- It was a deadly collision. An ATV hit by an Amtrak train.

We're learning more about the woman killled.

Patricia Dempsey was the mother of three young children. Now her family is concerned the kids will be spit up.

The accident happened Saturday night near Interstate 255 and the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

Dempsey was riding on the back of the ATV. Her boyfriend was driving. He survived and is in critical condition at St. Louis University Hospital. Meanwhile Dempsey's family is devastated by the sudden death of the 28 year old.

Saturday, Trish, as her family called her, put money down on a rental house in South County.

"She just wanted it to be perfect and have her family together," said a tearful Nina Schellhase, Trish's cousin.

But Trish will never be able to move into that house with her three kids because hours later, she was dead.

Schellhase said, "It's a tragedy. It seems like a senseless tragedy."

One that the 28-year-old's cousins are having trouble coping with.

A friend of the victim says Trish and her boyfriend were on an ATV. Another couple, the boyfriend's brother, and his wife were with them on a second ATV.

The friend says the four were on the other side of the railroad tracks throwing rocks in the river, on private property, when they heard a southbound train approaching.

They jumped on their 4-wheelers and tried to beat the train so they wouldn't be stuck waiting for it to pass.

The other couple made it. Trish's ATV was seconds too late.

"As we understand is that she was leaning to the left side and she got clipped by the train," said another cousin, Dave McMenomy. "She flew I'd say 100, 150 feet."

She died at the scene. Trish leaves behind two sons, one is eight, the other a year and a half.

There's also a 12 year old daughter.

"Inconsolable, probably lots of questions but when she was initially given the news she was hysterical about it," said Schellhase.

The siblings have different fathers, so the cousins are trying to figure out how to do what was Trish's priority, keeping the family together...even if they can't figure out how to explain why their mother isn't with them.

"Sometimes there aren't any answers and sometimes we have to remember all the great things about her and honor her memory and be the best people we can be to make her proud," said Schellhase.

Dempsey's boyfriend is in critical condition at SLU Hospital but authorities say he is expected to survive.

Dempsey's family has set up a memorial fund to help deal with the financial burden caused by her unexpected death.

Donations for funeral services and to benefit her three children can be made at any US Bank or mailed to 5821 Birchmont Place Drive, St. Louis, Missouri  63129.

The family says there is also a fundraiser set up.

It will take place on Thursday, August 9th from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sybergs Restaurant at 2430 Old Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights.

There will be an appetizer buffet and a raffle drawing.



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