DENVER (CBS4)- Melody Mitchell is thanking Coloradans and the community of Eastern Colorado for prayers and support offered in the aftermath of a tragic crash that killed her husband and five children.

“We’re strong… we’re very strong and we have each other. We’ll be okay,” said widow Melody Mitchell.

The collision when the van Howard Mitchell was driving crashed into a semi the morning of Oct. 13 south of Kit Carson, as he was driving his 12 adopted and foster children to school.

Mitchell was killed, along with five children ranging in ages 4 to 14. Seven other children were rushed to Denver metro area hospitals with injuries ranging from serious to critical. The Mitchell family said they are doing remarkably well and credit God for their recovery.

Melody Mitchell was supported by her sons when she talked publicly from Swedish Medical Center Wednesday afternoon. She thanked Coloradans for their outpouring of support.

Watch the family’s news conference in the video clip below:

“It has been overwhelming. You cannot believe the outpour of love and care. Our house is full of food. Friends came and helped with yard work and housework. They have taken us to meetings and errands. I have laughed because I have had 6 to 7 pastors following me at all times,” said Melody.

“It’s not just Kit Carson, it’s not just Eads, it’s all of Eastern Colorado and the United States. We have gotten letters, cards, gifts from states where we don’t even know people.”

The Colorado State Patrol said the accident is still under investigation. Drugs and alcohol have been ruled out. Speed is being looked at as a factor since there were 26 feet of skid marks on the road near the crash.

“The autopsy did show that Howard had an 80 percent blockage in his heart,” said Mitchell family friend Pastor Eric Kilborn.

All of those killed lived at The Mitchell House, a home for adopted and foster children run by the Mitchells. Melody grew up with foster children. Her parents took in 68 children, so fostering became a mission in her life.

“In the beginning, as a child, I said, ‘I will never do this.’ and God said not only will you do this, you will do it bigger and you will do it better. And I love it and I still love it and I’m going to continue to love it,” said Melody.

“These kids are amazing and they bless us more than we will… there’s not words to say how much they bless our lives.”

The funeral for those killed in the crash is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at Eads High School in the gymnasium. It is open to students and friends.


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