Newlyweds in fatal crash a day after getting married
As Rebekah and Austin Wesson left the courthouse in Wichita, Kan., on Friday, the 19-year-old newlyweds could not stop smiling. “I’m Mrs. Wesson,” Rebekah Wesson said, brandishing her newly christened name, her mother later recounted. Austin Wesson grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close. “You are my wife,” he told her. “You are my wife.”
On Saturday, what would have been their first full day as a married couple, the young couple planned a dinner together. Rebekah Wesson bought the ingredients for a pork chop recipe she hoped to cook for her new husband, a meal they would never get the chance to eat.
They had also registered for their wedding reception, which was set for late September. They would exchange their vows again in a religious ceremony among the trees in the backyard of the bride’s parents, and would serve their guests pizza, Rebekah Wesson’s mother, Rachel Bouma, told The Washington Post. They would have a campfire where their family and friends could make s’mores.
Rebekah Wesson had purchased her wedding dress — an A-line dress with a tulle skirt and beaded, laced top.
But the celebratory dinner, and the backyard wedding, would never be.
On Saturday, the day after becoming husband and wife, the Wessons crashed into a tree after the pickup they were riding in went off a dirt road. Austin Wesson, the driver, died at the scene, the Wichita Eagle reported. Rebekah Wesson died in a Wichita hospital early Monday.
Authorities say the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Rachel Bouma was at a wedding reception for another young couple when she saw a missed call from her daughter’s cellphone. She called the number back and heard a man’s voice, identifying himself as a sheriff’s deputy.
“I honestly thought Austin was just playing a joke on me, because he could tease,” Bouma said. Then, the deputy told her there had been an vehicle crash. The crash happened several hundred yards from the Boumas’ home near Clearwater, Kan.
Instead of preparing for a wedding, the young couple’s families are now preparing for a joint funeral next week.
Austin Wesson’s family members, who live in South Africa, will be flying to Kansas later this week. It will be their first time meeting their son’s in-laws.
“Our hearts were just broken,” John Bouma, Rebekah Wesson’s father, told The Post.