The family of a woman killed last week in a head-on collision has been able to get some closure by reaching out to the man who was there in her last moments.
Last Thursday afternoon, 42-year-old Penny Lynn Brown was involved in a head-on collision at the Pulaski-Laurel county line on East Ky. 80. The impact also killed the other driver and injured his wife.
Brown had been living in Nancy while the majority of her family is still in her hometown of Carrollton, Kentucky. They learned of her death more than two hours after the accident occurred.
Through good times and bad, Savannah Hubbuch said she had always tried to maintain contact with her mother.
On that last afternoon, according to Savannah, Penny had been on her way to pick up her boyfriend. When he couldn't reach her by phone for about 30 minutes, he became concerned and ended up driving along the route he believed Penny would have taken and found traffic backed up due to the accident.
"She had told him she wasn't feeling good and wasn't able to drive," Savannah said. "She couldn't find anyone to drive for her, so she had to go by herself."
Savannah said her mom's boyfriend was able to find out from a first responder that there were two fatalities and that a black Chevy Suburban — the kind of vehicle Penny was driving — had been involved but could not get any confirmation beyond that about Penny herself.
The family ultimately learned what happened to Penny when authorities made contact with her father, Savannah's grandfather. Savannah began posting on social media about her mother, with one of the posts being seen by someone who had been at the accident. The woman shared a picture of a man leaning into Penny's window and told Savannah that he had stayed with her mother until she passed away. She asked for permission to share the picture so that her family might find the man.
"We just wanted to thank him for being there with her," Savannah said. "At first, we thought she died on impact from the looks of the car. It brings peace to us knowing that she wasn't alone. I'd like to give him a hug, take him out to dinner or do something for him. It would just mean the world to us to let him know how much we appreciate him. He didn't have to that; he's not required to do that. It just shows that there are Good Samaritans still out there in the world."
While they haven't yet met in person, Savannah was able to speak to that man on Wednesday through the help of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office and the Commonwealth Journal. Although he doesn't wish to be identified, and noted that at least four or five others had come up to the vehicles to help, the Good Samaritan turned out to be a pastor who had been traveling Ky. 80 for work that afternoon and was able to pray for and with Penny before she passed away.
Following behind the other vehicle, the pastor said he was able to avoid the collision and came to a stop near Penny's vehicle.
"I've been there in the last moments with people and every situation's different," he said, "but I'd never been involved in as tragic a situation as this, with a vehicular accident where everything's so sudden.…
"What I remember most is there was just a very calm peace during that whole time frame," he continued, adding he was able to stay with Penny for 20-30 minutes.
The pastor called his conversation with Savannah special. "That was left open, when I left Penny, not knowing who all was going to be affected.…For Savannah to reach out to me and fill in some of those blanks really brought closure for me also."
He went on to express his appreciation for the first responders on scene, saying he didn't do anything but stay and help hold Penny until they got there. "The work that they do and the things they have to see…I've got a new appreciation for them," he said.
Savannah echoed those sentiments as well as passing on her family's sympathies to the family of the couple in the other vehicle. Of her mother, Savannah wants her to be remembered as a good person who loved her family and made it past the troubles she'd had in her life.
"She was a clown," Savannah said of Penny. "She was always making jokes. She always was trying to make people laugh. She had the biggest heart I've ever seen in anyone. If she had $5, she would somehow give you $10.…She was just a really good person."