A firefighter responding to an emergency call near Huntsville, Texas, received the worst shock possible when he discovered that his wife and 7-year-old son were the victims of a head-on collision.

Aaron Van Riper was one of the firefighters who, along with others, responded to reports of a collision between a passenger car and a pickup truck. Van Riper says that he doesn't know "how either one of them lived," because "there was nothing left of that car."

Van Riper arrived to see his wife on the ground, she had been thrown from the car, and learned that his son who they call "Bear," was trapped inside.

Both wife and son will be confined to wheelchairs temporarily and both received multiple fractures. Van Riper's wife underwent hours of surgery due to a broken pelvis.

The tragic end to this story is that neither Van Riper's wife or his son have health insurance. Friends and family are trying to raise money on a GoFundMe site, and have almost reached their goal.

This story brings into the light the immense gratitude that we owe to the emergency personnel and people who make our lives in this country safe. In this time when police officers are being looked at more suspiciously than ever, it helps to know that there are emergency workers out there who have real lives, real problems, and real emotions.

I'm not in any way saying it was good that this happened to Van Riper, but his story should resonate with other first responders and hopefully give them encouragement to serve and work as hard as they do, knowing that they make a difference.

We should be grateful that Van Riper and others like him put their lives and time on the line. We truly live in a blessed and awesome country.

UPDATE: A Major celebrity has donated to the family, take a look at the video:

Taylor's camp has confirmed that it indeed was the young songwriter who made such a large donation.

h/t: Fox 31, Denver



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