MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 26, 2012

Auction to help family after crash

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— After a crash that left the town of Warner reeling, area residents are organizing a fundraiser to help comfort the victims as one of them comes home.

Jonann Lynn Bell, 38, her 5-year-old son, Cash Nichols, and 21-year-old daughter, Logan Steen, were injured July 19 when a pickup Bell was driving was struck by a tractor-trailer rig.

The Warner Community has organized a “Cake and Pie (and much more) auction” for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The auction will be at the Warner Event Center on U.S. 64.

Bell is in Denver recuperating and is set to return home in early November, Sherry Thompson said.

Thompson is Warner Police Chief Terry Thompson’s wife. Bell’s husband, Thomas Bell, is a Warner police officer. Thompson said Bell is in Denver with his wife.

“It was like, she was in Denver, getting better, getting tests done, and we didn’t know when she would be coming back,” Thompson said. “Then, all of a sudden, we find out not only is she coming back, but it’s soon. So we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Bell, Nichols and Steen were all hospitalized after the crash — Bell and Cash in critical condition, Steen in serious — according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.

Cash was ejected from the vehicle and found beneath the pickup by emergency personnel.

“Cash is just a miracle, a real miracle,” Thompson said. “I mean, they never thought he’d be alive when he got to the hospital. My husband came out and looked at me and just shook his head. It was that bad.

“The whole family is a miracle.”

Cash is at home with his father and returns to Little Rock, Ark., with his father, Clay, occasionally for treatment. A Facebook group called “Prayers for Cash Nichols” was started after the crash, and now has more than 1,000 members.

Thompson said the fundraiser is to help with items and remodeling the family will need when Bell returns home. Thompson said Bell is dealing with paralysis, and though she has feeling in some of her fingers, doctors fear she will never walk again.

“The house will need some remodeling for her to comfortably get around in a wheelchair,” Thompson said. “And they’ll need a van with a lift on it, too.

“They are the most giving couple I’ve had the honor to know. It’s time for the community to give back to them.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go



WHAT: “Cake and Pie Auction (and much more)” fundraising event for the Bell family.

WHERE: Warner Event Center, U.S. 64.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

ADMISSION: Free.

ETC.: Auction event to raise money for the family of Jonann Bell, wife of Warner police officer Thomas Bell. Jonann, her 21-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were injured in a crash in July.

INFORMATION: (918) 441-5505.