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Henderson mom injured in wrong-way crash, 6 years after family tragedy

Updated September 13, 2021 - 4:38 pm

A Henderson woman suffered life-threatening injuries in a wrong-way crash last week, six years after her 9-year-old son was killed in a freak accident.

Deedra Russell is in critical but stable condition at a hospital in St. George, Utah, according to a family friend, who said her vehicle was hit by a wrong-way driver near the city on Wednesday.

The woman was on her way to help move her son Kyler into college at Brigham Young University-Idaho, according to Shannon Wolven, a family friend who runs a Facebook page for the family.

Russell’s son Austen was killed in May 2015 after his father, Troy, accidentally ran over him with his pickup truck at their Henderson home. The Facebook page “In Loving Memory of Austen Russell” has over 4,000 likes.

Deedra Russell and her family are BYU fans and attended the Cougars’ win over Arizona on Sept. 4 at Allegiant Stadium. A few days later, Kyler Russell left to drive to college, planning to stay at a friend’s house for a night. His mom planned to join him at the house a few hours later.

“Kyler got to his friend’s house, and they all went to bed,” Wolven said. “When they woke up in the morning, they were like, ‘Where’s Mom?’ ”

They used the Life 360 app to find that she was in the Virgin River Gorge but couldn’t find any more information on her whereabouts.

Finally, her husband learned from the Arizona Highway Patrol that she had been injured in a serious head-on crash in the middle of the night. Along with the couple’s two daughters, Payton and Maddie, he drove to St. George.

Deedra Russell’s condition has improved in recent days, Wolven said, and she’s now alert and is able to respond to questions with “yes” or “no.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.

Deedra Russell’s condition is “critical but stable,” Wolven said. Her kidney function was getting worse, and she started dialysis on Monday. She’s still having difficulty breathing, is suffering from internal bleeding and is scheduled to have arm surgery on Tuesday.

Her son Collin is with her, as well.

“She squeezed his hand three times,” Wolven said. “For ‘I love you.’ ”

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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