Friends, family and strangers pay their respects to mom, 3 kids killed in crash

It was an emotional goodbye for a mother and her three children killed in a tragic crash last week.

Friends, family and strangers gathered Tuesday to pay their respects to the Schmidt family.

For seven hours, hundreds of people came to the family's church in Crete - where the family was headed last Monday to bible camp - when the horrific crash happened.

As hundreds said goodbye to the mother and her three sons, the memorial for the family continues to grow at the site of the car crash.

"My heart has been aching all weekend, I feel awful about this and words cannot express it,” said Nancy Atkinson.

Atkinson stopped by the memorial near yates and corning roads to pay her respects. She had just come from the visitation service at the Crete Trinity Lutheran Church.

"It was very solemn and sad. It's really hard to even put it into words,” Atkinson said. "The family seemed like they were holding up as good as they could hold up - I’m sure they were holding a lot inside but they weren’t able to express."

Last week, 29-year-old Lindsey Schmidt - who was pregnant- and her 1-year-old son, Caleb, died on the scene of a car crash close to their Beecher home. Her other two sons – 4-year-old Weston and 6-year-old Owen - died later in the week from their injuries.

Police say a 25-year-old man driving a pickup truck blew a stop sign and slammed into the family's car. That driver suffered only minor injuries.

Since the accident, the business community has rallied around the family - showing their family love and support, and residents are wrapping white ribbons around trees.

The Culver's restaurant in Crete will donate half of all sales on Monday to the family.

The Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete is also taking donations for the Schmidt family - just go to their website - TrinityCrete.org and click on the link.

You can also donate to the First Community Bank and Trust in Beecher.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday.

No word if the driver of the pickup truck will be charged with the four deaths.

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