Megan was one of the most welcoming people I've ever had the pleasure of calling a friend. As president of a local mother's group, she had the ability to make each and every person she met feel cared for and included. The impact she had on our community can not be overstated. She pulled us together and kept us there with honest stories, creative family activities, and fun DIY craft ideas.
Our local mothering group is hoping to raise funds immediately to help cover funeral costs; anything left over will go towards care for the children. All money will go to the family, minus the percentage taken automatically by GoFundMe.
Thank you for reading this far, and I hope you will be able to help through this most heartbreaking time.
A Message from Jeff Nicholson, Megan's husband:
As many of you may have heard by now, my dear wife Megan Nicholson passed away yesterday afternoon. We had been visiting her family in Henderson, Nevada for the holiday weekend. Our niece, Chloe, continued a tradition of staying with us for a few weeks out of the summer, so we decided to drive her back to Yuma with us yesterday. Because our Equinox only seats five people, Megan's father decided to let us borrow his Explorer for the time so we could drive the kids around.
We were about ten miles west of Parker, Arizona on a state highway with two lanes and few places to pass. I was driving the vehicle at the bottom of a small hill and noticed a dark-colored sedan in my lane driving right toward us. This vehicle was apparently passing another vehicle in his lane across the double yellow lines, from what I can remember. My only option was to quickly swerve the vehicle onto the gravel shoulder to avoid a collision, but I wasn't able to stop the Explorer from fishtailing. It swerved back and forth, and the next thing I knew, we were flipping upside down multiple times, and glass and metal was crashing around us. When we came to a stop with the vehicle on its side, my kids were crying and screaming in the back, and I looked over at my dear wife, who was already gone. I don't remember exiting the vehicle, I just remember that the next thing I was doing was desperately trying to lift the vehicle by myself on to its wheels to get my kids out. Many passersby stopped and assisted me until we were able to lift the wreckage of the Explorer up enough onto a dirt berm on the shoulder of the road so the rescuers could pull the kids from the wreckage. My dear wife laid beside me. I couldn't see her face. She always had thick brown hair that covered everything.
The kids and I were all taken to the hospital in Parker to get checked out. After some time and some treatment of minor cuts and bruises, a gentleman from the California Highway Patrol arrived and informed me of the news that I already knew. My wife had passed on. One of the worst moments of my life so far was having to inform my 4-year-old son Joel that his mommy was with Heavenly Father now. He desperately wanted to see his mommy right then but didn't understand or want to understand why he couldn't. So much tears between us.
Yesterday was the worst day I've ever had. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. It was just a bad day. But I'm grateful that my kids are with me and without injury. My sweet, courageous niece, that wonderful little girl who supported me through this whole thing when I couldn't keep up... I'm so grateful she was there to help me and my kids. She's the bravest kid I know.
And I'm grateful that I'm here. I know I'm a good dad. My kids have me now, and we'll be each other's lives from now on.
We're at home in Yuma now. Megan's parents and her brother picked us up at the hospital and took us to our home. Megan's sister, her boyfriend, and their young son flew and drove from Utah to be with us as soon as possible. My aunt and uncle visited for awhile to ensure we were okay and that our needs were being met from what we could tell. Friends and family have been informed. We're working on funeral arrangements. We're working on getting the things we need to continue on. Our dear friends set up a fundraising account to help us pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, vet bills (yes, our sweet dog Anabelle made it through with a broken leg), and other things that we need. The fundraising account is: http://www.gofundme.com/OurFriendMegan
If anyone feels the need to reach out to me or my family, please do so. I probably won't immediately respond, but I want everyone to know that I love them, and I want to talk when I am able to. I want to remain an open book, and though I'm a complete mess right now, I feel the need to continue to keep myself and my kids connected with the world so that we may heal ourselves in due time.
I miss Megan so much. It's heartbreaking to me that my kids will hardly remember her when they grow up. But it'll get better. I'm not okay right now. But I will be. Thank you, everyone.
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