Mom remembers two teens killed in Cottonwood River wreck

Heather Luby-Fowler waited 5 hours along the river bank as crews pulled vehicle from water
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - The mother of two of the three teens who died when a car they were in crashed into the Cottonwood River Saturday says she was there when crews pulled the vehicle out of the water.

Heather Luby-Fowler, who is the mother of both Chase and Paxton Luby, told 13 NEWS she learned of the crash from Chase’s friend while she was at work.

Luby-Fowler said she rushed to the scene, where she waited for five hours for crews to pull the wrecked vehicle out of the water. The three teens were still inside.

As soon as the car was back on land, Luby-Fowler said she was asked to confirm the bodies were those of her children.

Unfortunately, they were.

Luby-Fowler said she was not aware the third victim, Shelby Phoneix, was in town, but it made sense that Ashley Edwards, 15, the only survivor, was with her two children.

Luby-Fowler said her son Paxton had a passion for video games, and her daughter Chase was very outgoing and loved to hang out with her friends. She said those friends included Paxton, adding the two were always very close.

Luby-Fowler said a candlelight vigil has been scheduled for 8 p.m. May 11th at the location of the accident but says she is unsure if she will attend because it is too hard to go back.

A memorial fund for Paxton and Chase has been set up at Emporia State Federal Credit Union.

The Lyon Co. Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened around 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the 800 block of Road 147. They said a person reported an injured woman walking down the road. When they arrived, they found Edwards, who told them she was a passenger in a vehicle that drove off the road, past a line of trees, and into the Cottonwood River.

Read our full report of the incident here.

Copyright 2021 WIBW. All rights reserved.