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Family thanks Casper for support after construction accident deaths

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - On June 15, two Casper boys died in a construction accident. Their family is thanking the community for the support they’ve shown in the wake of the tragedy.

“There aren’t words to speak how grateful we are. I mean, how do you describe it you know, the deep-felt appreciation for how supported we’ve been. It is overwhelming, and it’s humbling, and the support has been unexpected,” said Richard and Desmond’s mother Rose Kull Hicks.

Richard, age 16, and Desmond, age 12, died after a piece of construction equipment tipped over and crushed them. According to Kull Hicks, the boys’ father was also taken by helicopter to a hospital for his injuries.

The community has stepped up to answer the call for help issued by the boys’ uncle Roy Uptain by donating over $20,000 to the family. The money raised will go towards funeral costs, therapy for family members, and allowing Kull Hicks to take time off from work and take care of her other children.

“Having a little bit longer time to not have to go back to work so I can be with my kids during this time. Those kinds of physical, emotional needs,” said Kull Hicks.

For the family, the outpouring of support Casper has given them has made a difficult time more manageable. They have not only received donations to help their financial burden, but many words of support, and meals to ease the workload.

“It’s deeply moving, and it takes away quite a bit of the initial blow to some degree, to realize that there’s so many people who care, and so many people praying that it really does lighten the load,” said Kull Hicks.

Richard, or Ricky, was a writer of poetry. According to his mother, he was a deeply loving, respectful young man who made the most of every situation. He enjoyed hiking and backpacking and wanted to climb Mt. Everest one day.

“[Rick was] the most gentlemanly person, very chivalrous. My little niece said if she ever meets a boy she wants him to be just like Richard,” said Kull Hicks.

Desmond was the youngest of his siblings. He was described as a happy-go-lucky person who wanted to make those around him happy.

“The way that Desmond lived full out with so much joy. He had a perma-smile on his face. He went through a lot of hard things and he always came up on the other side of it. He was courageous, he was fierce, and he loved full out,” said Kull Hicks.

The family says they intend to live their lives without regret, and with hearts filled with love, as they believe the boys’ would want them to do.

“To see the world through their eyes, to see it with as much kindness, and creativity and caring is something I hope to live, you know, live in my life and encourage in my family and my friends,” said Uptain.

Kull Hicks says that they are planning to publish a book in the future with Ricky’s poetry and letters between the boys and their family. There is no set publishing date at this time.

“The letters between the cousins... they’re worth repeating and the impact that they had shouldn’t just stop now, and the written word can take it to people long after we’re gone. The poetry that he wrote I know will bring peace, comfort, joy, redirection, and inspiration to I pray millions of people in the world for years and years,” said Kull Hicks.

The family’s GoFundMe is still active, the goal was moved to $30,000 to continue helping the family with immediate and ongoing expenses.

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