PLANO, Texas -- Ethan Owen sat in the empty pew where his family usually sat for Sunday service at First Baptist Church of Plano.
“It was like someone tearing out my heart. It hurt a lot,” Owen said. The 23-year-old is the oldest child of a family of nine who just lost two parents in an accident.
“How are you going to do it?” a reporter with WFAA asked. “I have absolutely no idea,” Owen said.
His family was coming back from a camping trip. Ethan did not go. Owen tells WFAA that their trailer had come undone and forced the SUV off the road and into a creek.
Scott and Jennifer Owen invested heavily in their children. They were devout, caring, people.
Ethan says he was at work when he got the tough news from his grandmother. The 23-year-old was one moment deciding on emergency surgery for his brother and the next moment learning that his mom and dad did not make it.
“He was showing a lot of strength through all that. I don’t know how he was still upright,” said Pastor Craig Curry.
This Sunday was very tough because it was Mother’s Day. He called his mom’s phone knowing she wouldn’t pick up.
“I said, ‘I love you. I miss you very much and Happy Mother’s Day,’” he recounted.
His brother Dalton and sister Michaela are no longer in serious condition. They are both beginning to communicate. Ethan is aware that their recovery will take a very long time.
“We prayed to God for that and we believe in the power of prayer. And we continue to pray,” said Pastor Curry.
Ethan is the next of kin making decisions with the help of the family at the hospital. The Owen children who are not in the hospital are being cared for at their Granny Lois' home. Ethan tells WFAA that he will have to sign legal papers to relinquish guardianship.
Ethan says the support he has received from his family and church have been incredible. He says the only reason he gets by day-to-day is because of the family and friends who continue to help him and his six siblings.
Ethan works at Outback Steakhouse in Garland. He still picks up two to three shifts per week. Employees are hoping to help the family by donating 100% of tips earned between 4 p.m. and closing on Tuesday, May 15.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family.