4-year-old survivor: 'When will Mommy and Daddy be back?'

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on July 1, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 1 at 12:13 PM

TACOMA, Wash. - The grandparents of a 4-year-old Tacoma boy are helping him deal with losing both parents.

"They loved Cameron more than anything," says Teresa Thurston, Cameron Mitchell's grandmother. "And I don't think you could have better parents than Sean or Lindsey."

Four-year-old Cameron Mitchell lost both his mom and dad Tuesday morning in a horrible accident on Interstate 90.

"We've explained to him in the hospital that Mom and Dad were in heaven, and that they could see God," says Gary Thurston, Cameron's grandfather.

Returning from a camping trip, troopers believe Sean Mitchell fell asleep at the wheel. He and his wife, Lindsey, died at the scene.

"I wish I could have been there holding her hand. It just seems horrible to think she died that way," says Teresa.

Three people survived, including Cameron who suffered only scratches. The Mitchell's nephew is still hospitalized. A family friend, also in the car, was released from the hospital.

"He continues to ask when his mommy and daddy will be back," says Teresa.

Gary and Teresa Thurston say their daughter had a gift with children.

"From the time she was 3, I knew she was going to be a teacher a social worker, something. She was the Pied Piper of the neighborhood," says Teresa.

Lindsey Mitchell was a daycare provider. Sean Mitchell held down two jobs to provide for his family.

"It is very honorable. I was very proud of him," says Gary. 

Now these grandparents put their own losses on the backburner, preparing to become surrogate parents for young Cameron.

"It's a blessing, and a chance to honor what Lindsey and Sean already started. I think they've done an amazing job," says Gary.

"I pray that god will give me the wisdom to raise him the way Lindsey and Sean would have raised him. If I do half as good of a job, he'll be a great kid," says Teresa.

Parents at Our Inspiration Daycare, where Lindsey Mitchell worked, have opened a fund at Columbia Bank to help Cameron's family. If you'd like to donate, you can give to "The Cameron Mitchell Donation Account."

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