Just days after her son’s birthday, a mother faced an unexpected tragedy that turned her life upside down. Instead of watching her boy continue his birthday celebrations, she had to buy two coffins to bury the people she loved the most.
Whenever a child leaves the house to visit a friend or play outdoors, their parents expect them to return home soon. The thought of losing their kids is not one any parent wants to entertain.
The mother in today’s story had similar feelings when her sons left the house. She hoped they would return soon, but fate had other plans. Her babies never came back.
13-year-old Kayden Compton, and his younger brother, Braydon Kauffman, 10, were the light of their mother, Ashley Kauffman’s life. The Ohio family had been through many ups and downs, but they always supported each other.
Ashley struggled with her health for the past few years because of cancer. She underwent chemotherapy while her children gave her strength. Little did she know that an unexpected incident would soon change her life forever.
Braydon, a fifth-grader at McGregor Elementary School, and Compton, an eighth-grader at STEAMM Academy in Canton, Ohio, were looking forward to continuing Compton’s birthday celebrations when the unthinkable happened.
An Unexpected Incident
On October 1, 2022, the brothers left the house while Ashley hoped they would return soon. She was an “overly protective mom” and never even allowed her children to ride bikes like the other kids.
The horrifying crash left the boys’ family, friends, and community members devastated.
Ashley feared her children would get hurt if they went outside unattended. At around 9:22 p.m., her worst nightmare came alive when her children got into a horrifying accident. The authorities received a call and immediately rushed to the scene to rescue the brothers.
Compton and Braydon were traveling in a Ford F-550 when it rolled over and collided with a tree after the driver lost control. When the first responders arrived at the accident site, they discovered the boys had already passed away.
However, they moved the injured driver to the hospital while the police investigated what made the vehicle crash into a tree. Ashley was devastated when she found out what had happened to her children. She said:
“A part of me died that night.”
Neighbors and Friends
People who lived near the accident site reported a power outage at the time of the collision. Some rushed to the scene to help after watching the truck flip, but they couldn’t do anything because the boys and the driver were trapped under the wrecked vehicle.
“The first responders came with the jaws of life,” a neighbor recalled. The horrifying crash left the boys’ family, friends, and community members devastated. A friend of the boys, Lissa Morgan, said:
“I miss him a lot, and it’s like you never really know how much you miss them until they’re gone. It’s very hard for me.”
Chris Kauffman-Gilger, Ashley’s father, set up a GoFundMe page to help her cover the funeral expenses. The distraught mother suddenly had to prepare for two funerals at once. Chris said:
“These two boys loved life to the fullest, and they were the happiest, kindest, most caring, and loving kids you could ever meet.”
Through the fundraiser, the family aimed to collect $17,000. As of October 6, more than $16,000 have been raised. Meanwhile, Ashley posted photos of her boys on Facebook and wrote heartbreaking messages to express her feelings.
The authorities investigated the case, hoping to find out what made the driver lose control. Ashley followed the investigation, hoping her babies would get the justice they deserved.
In one of her Facebook posts, the mother revealed that a witness got in touch with the authorities and said that the Ford truck driver was supposedly driving under the influence. Ashley stated:
“Thank you to the witness who felt enough pain & sorrow for my innocent babies, to tell the truth.”
Remembering the Boys
“I know a lot of people do love them and care for them,” the brothers’ friend, Morgan, said. The district authorities offered to counsel teachers and students affected by the unfortunate incident. Canton City Schools stated:
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of these students, and especially to our McGregor and STEAMM Academy communities.”
Meanwhile, Ashley has been posting photos of her late sons on Facebook to keep their memories alive. She misses them terribly but is staying strong for her other children. The mother had never imagined burying her babies at such a young age.
This heartbreaking story shows how important it is to drive safely. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Ashley and her family and hope justice is served.
Click here to read another story about a 12-year-old New York boy killed in a crash while going to do homework with friends, leaving his family devastated.