Local grandmother needs help

The Collum family, including from left mom Beverly Collum and daughter Kaneetha, benefited from community help with fundraising in early November at an event in Kerrville, after the family lost daugher Kayla (Collum) Maughan, in photos, last July. She was killed in a fatal vehicle crash with a drunk driver and family members are helping dad Josh raise his two small children. A GoFundMe page also was set up to help.

Ongoing fundraising is still needed for the Josh Maughan family and grandparents Beverly and James Collum of Kerrville South, after the July 24 fatal accident that took the life of mom and wife Kayla (Collum) Maughan.

Beverly Collum said the four members of the Maughan family went to Fredericksburg that evening to shop for something they hadn’t been able to find in Kerrville.

They put Landon, two years old at the time, in his car seat in the back left seat; and his sister Kaly, three years old, in seat belts beside him on the right.

Their father Josh was driving, with mother Kayla in the front passenger seat when they started back to Kerrville.

“They were on Highway 16 at about 9:15 p.m. near the Gatti’s restaurant and the entrance to Lady Bird Johnson Park, coming back to Kerrville. The other driver veered from his lane going north, with no lights on, and plowed into them. His borrowed truck hit Kayla and Josh’s car head-on, mostly into the passenger side. And he flipped his truck,” Beverly Collum said. “Afterwards the cops told us his blood alcohol level was .202, a lot higher than the legal limit to be driving.”

She said other drivers stopped and tried to help, but the impact was so hard that the car’s engine was pushed into the passenger space.

Kayla died at the scene, as the impact was greatest on her side of the car. James had many broken bones and was sent to the Trauma Center at Brook Army Medical Center. Young Kaly had two broken legs and a broken arm after the impact pushed her mother’s seat onto her legs, She and her brother were airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio.

“We think Landon must have fallen asleep in his seat and was so relaxed that his safety belts held him still. He wasn’t injured,” Collum said. “We aren’t used to driving in San Antonio, and that night had to find our way to two different hospitals.”

She said she tried to call their other daughter Kaneetha Collum in Frederickburg but couldn’t reach her. Kaneetha was finally notified by Fredericksburg law enforcement officers.

The Collums’ family also was told the other driver’s insurance was expired.

She said Landon doesn’t remember any of that night’s events. But Kaly does.

“This has been a big shock to the babies. Their mom’s not there anymore, and Kaly still cries for her sometimes.”

She said Kaly remembers what she calls her “ride in the airplane” and the lights that were flashing on it. She said when they could see her at University Hospital, she held Kaly up to a window where she could see one of the medical helicopters outside the building. And Kaly said, “Yes, that’s the airplane I rode in!”

She said they’ve since returned to the accident scene to place a cross with artificial flowers on the roadside; and were saddened to see broken glass still on the ground.

The Collums and Maughans were living in Kerrville South; and the grandparents and other family members had to start taking care of the family, especially the youngest two.

“Josh is still going to therapy and can’t go back to work at his job in Kerrville at the Wash Tub. He may never be able to do that kind of work again,” she said.

Josh was going back to BAMC for therapy at first, but is looking for somewhere closer to home to get that.

The Collums have done some renovations to their home to keep the children with them; and foresee more of that in the future.

Friends and a co-worker offered to plan a fundraiser for the family and Collum said that Nov. 6 event at River Star Park raised a helpful amount of funds to get them started with what they need. That event included raffle items, live music, a Cornhole tournament and food.

But she foresees continuing expenses into the future, to be able to help support the two children into and through their school years.

Ongoing fundraising

Collum said friends and family set up a “Go Fund Me” page to raise more funds to help the family.

The Go-Fund-Me page is set up under Kayla’s sister’s name – “Kaneetha Collum” – online. Any area residents willing to help this family can aid them by contributions through this site.

So far there is not another community fundraiser planned like the one held in early November.

“The money doesn’t bring Kayla back, but it helps us raise her babies. Those babies were her life,” Collum said.

She said she works part-time as a cook in a child-care facility; and her husband works fulltime.

“We’d like to get a savings account started for them now, that can grow while they start school,” Collum said.

Obituary information

Collum said Fredericksburg Funeral Home helped the family with necessary arrangements after the fatal accident, providing cremation and a memorial service for Kayla. The memorial service was held Aug. 14, 2021 at the Dietert Center in Kerrville, followed by a family gathering at Flat Rock Park.

The obituary said, Kayla Danay Maughan of Kerrville was born May 19, 1994 in Fredericksburg; and graduated from Tivy High School in 2011 after serving in the ROTC.

She was described as a passionate baker and cook, and a person who loved traveling and loved to read.

She married Joshua Maughan in June 2019. She also is survived by a brother-in-law, two nieces, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins.

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