Community mourning, praying for Walters family

WALTERS, Ok (KSWO) - Citizens in Walters are mourning the loss of a mother and praying for her injured son.

31-year-old Savannah Benefiel was killed in a head-on crash near Geronimo on Friday night. Her 8-year-old son Austin was critically injured and remains in a Dallas hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Pastor Roger Noland said he was saddened when he heard the news. He knows Savannah will truly be missed and is praying her son Austin makes a speedy recovery.

"We are praying for a miracle for him. The doctors are extremely capable we are just praying for that to turn around because that boy can run. He can flat out run and I believe that he will again. Just keep the family lifted up in prayer and the other family as well," said Pastor Noland.

Pastor Noland said  Austin is a fun energetic 8-year-old boy who has a contagious smile and loves eating hot dogs!

"Austin is larger than life. Since the second he was born he has been moving.  He has fiery red hair, and he couldn't say my name, but when he learned to say brother, he has called me brother," said Pastor Noland.

Austin is also very athletic and has a strong passion for sports.

"Great little ole athlete. He played at our church volleyball game on Saturday night and played kickball really well for a little guy he did really well," said Pastor Noland.

Pastor Noland has known Austin since he was a baby and holds a special place in his heart for his mother Savannah.

"We have a special bond because we both have the same birthday. She would always give me high fives. She would always ask me how the weather was up there because she was shorter and I was taller. I got to do baby dedication and weddings," said Pastor Noland.

Pastor Noland said Savannah was just a great person overall.

"She was very joyful to be around, great pleasure, very helpful. She was in the medical field very hilarious. She had the love of God in her, she loved people and she loved to help people and I take comfort in the fact that we will see her again," said Pastor Noland.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up for the family to help with Austins' surgeries, gas money, food and anything else the family needs.  It was set up on Sunday and has already raised about $2,500 dollars.

Pastor Noland said he's grateful for so many people who've prayed and supported the Benefiel family.

"It's a mighty blessing to know. The scripture talks about when you are going through a terrible time to know that somebody else is going through it with you and that you are not alone because in these times you feel like you are alone but to know that someone else is caring and sharing can help you through it," said Pastor Noland.

If you would like to help the Benefiel family, you can donate here.

You can also drop off a donation at the Walters Bank and Trust for the Benefiel Family Love Fund. You can also mail donations for the family to the bank:

Walters Bank and Trust
C/O Benefiel Family Love Fund
PO Box 96
Walters, OK 73572

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