New­ly­weds in fa­tal crash a day af­ter get­ting mar­ried

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Sa­man­tha Sch­midt Cour­tesy of the Bouma fam­ily

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.

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