Donald and Crystal Howard had gone to buy candy and Halloween supplies when their SUV careened off the road and hit a tree, both were killed instantly.
Trooper Nathan Bradley was assigned the heartbreaking task of notifying four children that their parents had died in a car accident.
“Unfortunately, I was greeted by four children in full costumes,” Bradley recalled. They ranged in age from 6 through 13.
He spoke to their grandmother, who agreed to let him delay informing the kids.
“The first thing I said was, ‘Hey lets go get something to eat,'” Bradley said. “They said, ‘My parents will be here soon.’ I said, ‘Your Grandma wants you to hang out with me till she gets here.'”
Bradley treated Justin, Amaya, Damien, and Travion to dinner, movies, and Halloween candy at the Monroe State Patrol post followed by a sleepover.
“The whole purpose was to preserve their Halloween,” he explained.
The children weren’t told about their parents’ accident until the next morning when their grandmother arrived.
Bradley started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses so that Crystal and Donald can be buried in Florida. The children will be moving to the state to live with grandparents.
Bradley explained he feels a special bond with the kids.
“It’s the first time in the line of duty I told someone I loved them and I do love them,” Bradley said. “I care about them a lot.”