A Delhi  church is supporting the Amish community following a deadly crash last week that left four members dead. Pastor Keith Pitts of the Delhi United Methodist Church, says he was notified of the accident right away.

“Over the course of the next two days, I received multiple calls from people in Delaware County in the community, saying, ‘Pastor, what can we do? How can we help? ‘,” Pitts says. Twenty-two-year-old Ervin Borntreger of Delhi died in the crash on Highway 20 in Grundy County, along with his one-year-old son Marlin Borntreger. Two other family members, two-year-old Rebecca Borntreger and four-year-old Emma Borntreger, also died, while nine other passengers were injured.

Pitts was a friend of Ervin Borntreger and says he went to the head of the Amish community to see what they could do to help.
“They’d been inundated with food and all kinds of other things they can they told me that even though they wouldn’t come out and actually say it, they can definitely use some financial support and help. And so they had gotten permission for our church to do some fundraising,” he says. They raised more than $5,000 in less than 24 hours.

Pitts says he attended the wake on Monday and met with the family, letting them know that help was coming their way – and they’re very grateful. “They’re all doing fine. They’re all recovering. But obviously, this is a pretty traumatic, has a pretty traumatic impact on the Amish community and on our community here,” Pitt says. “It’s eye-opening, you know, about how fragile life is.” Pitts says as of Tuesday, one person still remained in the hospital, but everyone else had been released – including Ervin’s wife, who was able to make it to her husband’s wake.

He says the church hired Ervin when they needed new windows put in. “He was just a very, very kind man, you know, for 22 years old. He’s a very mature man, a man deeply rooted in his faith and his cultural beliefs, but very committed to working hard, and just being kind to everyone, and being a friend to everyone. I’m gonna miss him a lot,” Pitts says.

Donations have been coming in from all over the state. Pitts says that the outpouring of love has been heartwarming to witness. He says it is important to continue the support. “The most important thing we can do is pray for these families and just pray for their homes and, in their healing, both physically and emotionally. This is a huge, huge tragedy, and no parent should have to outlive their child, especially so young,” he says. Pitts says there are several ways you help out the family.

Monetary donations can be made at the Delhi United Methodist Church, Heritage Bank in Delhi, and the Delhi Thrift Store. There is also a Go Fund Me page at: https://gofund.me/508e9175

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)

Radio Iowa