Brother provides update on Nickerson family members hit by car in Louisville

Ava Jones and her family were in Kentucky for a basketball tournament when they were struck by a car as they stood on a sidewalk in downtown Louisville.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A week after an impaired driver struck a Nickerson family in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, the brother and son of those injured provided an update on his mother and sister in the hospital. His father died from his injuries late last week. A younger brother suffered minor injuries.

Hunter Jones said his father’s death has devastated the family, but he did share good news about the conditions of his mother and his sister.

Trey Jones, who died Friday, was a teacher and head track coach at Nickerson High School. Amy Jones, assistant superintendent in the Nickerson-South Hutchinson school district and Ava Jones, a basketball star committed to play for the University of Iowa following her senior year at Nickerson High School, are gradually recovering in a Louisville hospital.

The family was in the city last week for Ava’s AAU basketball tournament, held just a few days after she committed to play for Iowa. A car driven by Michael Hurley, a man who admitted he had just taken hydrocodone and was too tired to make a turn, hit them. He now faces a murder charge among several charges in connection with the July 5 crash.

In their recoveries, Hunter said the past few days have brought good news for his mother and his sister.

“Ava and mom are getting a lot better. They’re in stable conditions for sure. They’re moving around, responding really well to the commands that nurses and doctors are giving them,” he said.

When looking at the prospects of Ava returning to the basketball court someday, Hunter said she has some brain trauma but hasn’t suffered any major career-ending injuries.

“She has a couple fractures in her spine, which doctors say will heal by themselves, but they said that, you know, they’re planning on her making a full recovery and getting back out on the court, which you know, it took me awhile to accept what he said of the unexpectedly positive outlook,” said Hunter.

Hunter didn’t offer a timeline as to when Ava would be back on out on the court, but a full recovery is expected. He said his mother won’t make a full recovery, but she will continue getting better.

The Nickerson community stepped up to help support the Jones family. Family friend Erin Ontjes said the effort will continue to do whatever it takes to see them through.

“I love you guys, stay strong. The community is here for you,” Ontjes said. “Please let us know anything we can do. I guarantee somebody will be doing it.”

Hunter said the death of his father hasn’t fully hit him, a tragedy not yet known to his mother and his sister. He said when they find out, it will be an emotional time for his family. Looking through darkness, he touched on how appreciative he is of the community’s support.

“I really want [Ava and his mother] to see that there are so many people fighting for them and so many people that care about them,” Hunter said.

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