Months apart, Garden Plain family impacted by two devastating car crashes

A crash left a young couple in the hospital as they’re expecting their first child.
A crash left a young couple in the hospital as they’re expecting their first child.(kwch)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Garden Plain family is facing the impact of two traffic accidents this year.

One in April and one this past weekend, June 25. This most recent crash left a young couple in the hospital as they’re expecting their first child.

“Long road for them. It’s going to be a lot of work and it’s going to be hard on them,” said Lauren Walker, a friend of Dakota Redd and Autumn Irick.

It was just a couple of weeks ago, Lauren Walker was celebrating with her friends Dakota Redd and Autumn Irick at their baby shower.

“Really excited to bring in this new baby,” said Walker. “Exciting to see, especially Dakota, kind of grow to be excited to be a dad because we never saw him like that before.”

However, this past week, Walker and her fiance have been visiting the bedsides of Redd and Irick, who are currently recovering at separate hospitals. Irick is currently 33 weeks pregnant.

Walker said, “The first couple of days were really, really scary cause they didn’t know if the baby was going to make it. If she was going to make it.”

Irick is doing better Walker said. Irick had an operation to provide a temporary fix to her injured hip but another surgery will be needed after giving birth.

“Trying to keep her comfortable right now until that time does come to do the delivery and then they’ll do a permanent fix for her hips and start rehab after,” said Walker.

Redd’s current condition leaves some unknowns as he remains in a coma.

Walker said, “In the process we think, of walking up, those he’s been making some movements and stuff like when you touch his feet, he’ll jerk his whole leg, which is a big movement. "

Walker said Redd will also need surgery to repair his hip, along with rehab to walk again. He could also need to go to a neurological rehab to address brain damage.

This is all weighing on Redd’s family. Earlier this year, his step-father Dustin Brown died in a crash in Butler County.

Walker said, “I know Dakota and Janelle (Redd, Brown’s wife) both took it really, really hard. They were on the upswing of kind of, not getting used to things without him but kind of getting into that new normal.”

Walker said the sudden loss of Brown also was devastating for Redd’s three younger siblings.

Walker is spending time with Redd’s mom Janelle to help provide her with support and comfort as he recovers.

“She’s been there every single day. We’ve been kind of laughing and joking about the fact that he has to get a quarter of his head shaved because he had a mullet that she hated,” said Walker.

Even with the moments of levity, it’s clear Redd, Irick and their baby have much yet to face.

Walker said the main goal their friends and family are working toward is making sure the couple has fewer things to worry about.

“There’s going to have to be modifications made to the house so they can both get in and out because they’re going to be in wheelchairs for a while, and not to mention having a new baby coming, they don’t have everything ready yet because this wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Walker.

Walker created a Go Fund Me to provide funds to cover medical and rehab bills and the cost of their baby.

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