Johnny Hicks says one 6-year-old girl from Arkansas survived a tragedy that nobody should ever have to go through.
In an interview with Fox16, Hicks said he was with his family on Saturday afternoon when a tree suddenly crashed on a nearby mobile home in Russellville. That accident killed 9-year-old Landon Huggins and his mother, Alisha Huggins, according to an obituary for the boy.
Hicks recalled what he saw in the aftermath of the deadly accident as he tried to help.
“A 6-year-old daughter just witnessed her brother being crushed by a tree,” he told Fox16, “(and) her mom’s screaming ‘help I’m dying’ from underneath.”
Alisha was napping with her four children in their mobile home, her sister Kaytlin Jennen told KARK, when a tree fell on the structure. It pinned both the 9-year-old boy and his mother.
Anna, who is Landon’s twin sister, told Jennen that her mom kissed her children from underneath the tree as she called 911 for help, according to KARK.
Chris Huggins, the woman’s husband and father of the children, told 5NewsOnline that he was at work when he received a call.
“My friend called me and said ‘Did you get a phone call?’” Huggins recalled to the outlet. “I was like ‘What phone call?’, and he said ‘There’s a tree that fell on your house.’”
When Huggins arrived at the destroyed mobile home, he said he heard his 6-year-old daughter “screaming” as she was trapped under debris in the crash, according to 5NewsOnline. The father said first responders told him they had “bad news” — but he said “I already know, just don’t tell me.”
The 6-year-old girl was rushed to a hospital for treatment, according to Fox16. Now, Hicks told the outlet that he believes something could have been done to avoid the tragic loss of life. He said at least four homes have been damaged by falling trees recently in the area.
Huggins told 5NewsOnline that he had been worried that the tree was too close to his home.
And while the owner of the property reportedly told KARK that the incident was an unavoidable “act of God,” Alisha’s sister said she doesn’t buy that. Especially, she said, because the inside of the tree was found to be rotten.
“I didn’t think that it would take two lives for them to be like, ‘Oh hey, we need to maybe take maintenance on trees,’” she told KARK.
There will be a funeral for the mother-son duo on Wednesday between 6 to 8 p.m, according to Landon’s obituary. The 9-year-old was described as someone who “especially loved Jesus” and enjoyed playing with his sisters and singing and dancing “for all to see and hear.”
As he prepares to lay his wife and son to rest, Huggins offered a piece of advice for other parents out there.
“Cherish every moment that you’ve got with your family because you never know when they’re going to be taken away,” he told 5NewsOnline. “Don’t take anything for granted.”