by: Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:
FAYETTE, Ala. - A tight-knit Alabama community is rallying around the family of a father and son who died after they were killed in a head-on collision with one another Saturday morning.
A joint funeral was held Wednesday afternoon for Jeffrey Morris Brasher, 50, and Austin Blaine Brasher, 22, both of Fayette, a small city in rural west Alabama. Jeff Brasher, a bread distributor, was on his way to work shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday, and his son was on his way home following a night out with friends.
They crashed into one another on a county road about 10 miles from their home, according to AL.com. Jeff Brasher was killed instantly.
Austin Brasher died about five hours later at UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
Jeff Brasher’s sister, Pamela Dennis, told People magazine that the family has been devastated by the deaths.
“You really just cannot imagine it,” Dennis said. “There are no words that can be said. Everybody’s life changed on Saturday morning. No one’s life will be the same after this.”
The family had already been dealing with a lot, People reported. Jeff’s wife and Austin’s mother, Pam Brasher, has been fighting cancer. Jeff and Pam Brasher’s only other child, Jennifer Brasher, had just recovered from a car accident that left her injured.
Jeff Brasher was known in the community as “the bread man,” his sister told AL.com. He worked as a bread distributor for Flowers Baking Co. for 20 years.
He was also an active volunteer, serving as the sports announcer for football games at Fayette Middle School and keeping the clock for basketball games there and at Fayette County High, where Austin Brasher earned his diploma in 2013.
“Everybody who knew him loved him,” Dennis told AL.com about her brother. “He always had a smile on his face.”
Dennis told People that members of the community and people from all across the country have been reaching out to offer support for the family.
"We are just so blessed,” Dennis said. “Yes, we are struggling but we have been covered in prayer."
The grief over the Brashers' deaths was palpable on social media.
Please share.Posted by Kris Gardner on Saturday, February 18, 2017
In memory of Jeff and Austin Brasher. Prayers lifted up for the family.
We at Winfield Walmart #362 would like to let the family of Jeff Brasher and Austin Brasher know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers.Posted by Susan Dudley Gray on Saturday, February 18, 2017
Monica Marie Aker, a cousin of Austin Brasher’s, described Jeff Brasher as the “kind of guy who, if you needed something, you’d go to him because he would help,” according to People.
“He wanted to make you smile, and his kids were his No. 1 priority,” Aker said.
Austin Brasher, who graduated from Lincoln College of Technology in 2014, worked as a machinist. He and his father, who were extremely close, loved playing golf together.
They also shared their gregarious personalities.
“Austin was a beloved son, brother, grandson, cousin and friend who loved his family with everything he had,” his obituary read. “He was an avid golfer and spent many of his weekends playing co-ed softball with his friends.
“Austin loved life and spending time with those that meant most to him. He had a great sense of humor that could light up a room and always had a smile on his face. He was always there for his friends and had a huge heart that was always ready to help anyone in need.”
He only takes the good❤A heart of gold stoped beating.Two shining eyes at rest.God broke our hearts to only prove he...Posted by Hannah Stidham on Saturday, February 18, 2017
AL.com reported that state troopers believed alcohol contributed to the crash. Neither father nor son was wearing a seat belt.
Aker told People that Austin Brasher had been drinking at a party the night before the crash. She told the magazine that part of her was relieved her cousin did not survive the collision that also killed his father.
“My worst fear was that Austin would make it through and then kill himself, because he wouldn’t have been able to deal with killing his father,” Aker said. “It would have destroyed him.”
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