Supporters gather to welcome Utah brothers home after crash that killed both parents

Posted at 9:49 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 23:56:27-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Two brothers are back home in Utah after surviving a crash in Wyoming that killed their parents.

Kyle and Karson Wight returned to an emotional homecoming after dozens of friends, parents and coaches from at least four different hockey teams came out to welcome the teens home.

Kyle's team, Brighton High Bengals Varsity Hockey, held a banner and cheered as the boys walked out into baggage claim Friday afternoon.

Karson's team, the West Coast Renegades, stood close by with their own "Welcome Home" banner for the two.

"We're glad to see them come home," said teammate Alex Mayne.

Hugs and tears flowed, the love from the hockey community apparent.

"It's nice to come back home, yeah it's really nice," Kyle said.

When the 16-year-old and his 13-year-old brother left Salt Lake City last week, they had Karson's hockey tournament in Colorado to look forward to.

Their parents, Bob and Dawn, were by the boys' side, as they always were for hockey games. But Bob and Dawn Wight died after a semi hit the family's car head-on in Wyoming.

The driver of the semi was later charged.

"It's really sad. They're like our parents too," West Coast Renegades player Diego Contreras said.

Karson and Kyle, both injured, ended up in a Colorado hospital.

"The whole team actually was able to come to the hospital and the boys, their spirits were just amazing," said West Coast Renegades U14 Coach Bryce Manneck.

The boys' hockey family stayed by their side in Colorado. It's only natural they'd step in to care for the teens.

"I was really close to the parents, the boys felt really comfortable with me, they live right by me," explained Brenda Pond, who is now taking the teens in to live with her family.

As the two made the rounds with their friends in the airport, the support overflowed and the laughter of friends joining back together rang out.

"With all the things that have been happening lately... love it," Karson said.

The hockey community's strength serves as a glimmer of hope, as Kyle and Karson recover from their wounds and work on healing their hearts.

"This is where all their family is now," teammate Daniel Gerling said.

"They're home," Manneck said. "This is where they need to be, and we're excited to have them back."

A fundraising account's been set up to help with expenses as the brothers transition to their new lives.