Brother provides update on Nickerson family members hit by car in Louisville

WICHITA, Kansas (KWCH) – A week after an impaired driver hit a Nickerson family in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, the brother and son of the injured gave an update on his mother and sister in the hospital. His father died of his injuries late last week. A younger brother was slightly injured.

Hunter Jones said his father’s death had devastated the family, but he shared good news about his mother and sister’s conditions.

Trey Jones, who died on Friday, was a teacher and head coach at Nickerson High School. Nickerson-South Hutchinson School District assistant superintendent Amy Jones and Ava Jones, a basketball star signed up to play for the University of Iowa after her senior year at Nickerson High School, are gradually recovering in a Louisville hospital.

The family was in town last week for Ava’s AAU basketball tournament, which was held just days after she signed up to play for Iowa. A car driven by Michael Hurley, a man who admitted he had just taken hydrocodone and was too tired to make a turn, slammed into them. He now faces a murder charge among several counts related to the July 5 crash.

While recovering, Hunter said the past few days have brought good news for her mother and sister.

“Ava and mum are doing much better. They are in stable conditions for sure. They move around, respond very well to commands that nurses and doctors give them,” he said.

Discussing the prospects of Ava returning to the basketball court one day, Hunter said she suffered from traumatic brain injury but had not suffered any major career-ending injuries.

“She has a few spinal fractures, which the doctors say will heal on their own, but they said they expect her to make a full recovery and return to the field, which took a moment to accept what he said about the surprisingly positive outlook,” Hunter said.

Hunter did not give a timeline as to when Ava would be back on the pitch, but a full recovery is expected. He said his mother would not fully recover, but she would continue to get better.

The Nickerson community has stepped up to help support the Jones family. Family friend Erin Ontjes said the effort will continue to do whatever it takes to complete them.

“I love you guys, stay strong. The community is here for you,” Ontjes said. “Please let us know anything we can do. I guarantee you someone will.

Hunter said his father’s death didn’t quite hit him, a tragedy still unknown to his mother and sister. He said when they find out, it would be a touching moment for his family. Looking through the darkness, he spoke of how much he appreciates the support from the community.

“I really want to [Ava and his mother] to see that there are so many people fighting for them and so many people caring about them,” Hunter said.

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