Hockey community rallies around Utah brothers injured in crash that killed their parents

Posted at 9:05 PM, Nov 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-13 23:24:10-05

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah --  The hockey community is coming together to help two Utah teens who were injured in a crash that took their parents’ lives.

As the Wight family traveled to a tournament in Colorado Thursday, their car was involved in a crash in Wyoming, Brighton High School Varsity Hockey Team Head Coach Matt Osborne said.

The I-80 crash left Bob and Dawn Wight dead, and their sons Kyle, 16, and Karson, 13, fighting for recovery.

Now the Brighton Bengals are doing what they can to support the two teens as they deal with losing both their parents and work on healing from their injuries.

Bob and Dawn were what the team would call “rink rats,” meaning hockey was the center of their lives.

“They were always at the games, they were always in the stands cheering for us and for Kyle and Karson,” said Michael Young, who plays on the varsity team with Kyle.

The two attended every single game, from beginning to end. Osborne said they were always the first to arrive and last to leave.

“Dawn and Bob were true hockey parents,” he said. “They gave up everything for their kids.”

The devotion to Kyle and Karson extended to their teams and teammates.

“When I think of Dawn, I think of maybe like a second mom,” Young said.

Another of Kyle’s teammates, Cameron Rappl, said Dawn was always laughing—in fact she was known for what Osborne described as her “epic laugh.”

Bob was known to stand outside and open the door for everyone as they entered the rink, giving words of encouragement.

“Bob was always outside the rink, you could talk to him about anything,” Rappl said.

It’s part of what made the news on Thursday so hard to swallow.

“Couldn't take it all in at once,” said Tyler Thompson, who played hockey with Karson on the Brighton Middle School team.

Osborne said the family had been heading to a hockey tournament in Colorado for another team Karson played on, the West Coast Renegades.

Karson was taken by Life Flight helicopter, his injuries worse than Kyle's. Osborne said both are still in Colorado in the hospital.

“It's like losing a member of your own family,” team member Alex Osborne said of Bob and Dawn’s deaths. “On this team, we're all really close.”

“I knew they were great people, and they didn't deserve what they got,” said Jack Minnock, who also plays on the varsity team.

While Karson’s team is able to offer support in-person in Colorado, Kyle’s team wanted to help from far away.

“They need our support to help them through it,” Thompson said.

Especially because Osborne said the teen brothers have no other family in the area.

The Bengals started a fundraising account, plus there are other efforts in the works.

Osborne said several hockey organizations plan to come together for a fundraiser next week.

In addition, the team will dedicate the rest of their season to Bob and Dawn, starting with a Wight Out game on Wednesday.

The team said they plan to honor the couple with white ribbons, and a moment of silence.

Simple shows of support to a family that gave them so much.

“We want to send our love to him and his little brother that even though this thing that’s happened is absolutely horrible, we're still here for him,” Young said. “We're his family.”