Many in the Billings community are rallying to help support the families of the four teens who died after a car crashed on Saturday, December 16, 2023, along the 1800 block of Minnesota Avenue at about 1:45 in the morning.
“This is not something that you would ever anticipate happening,” Tanya Kemper, the manager of the Billings Man Shop, said on Monday. “I can’t even imagine what (the families are) going through. This is an absolute devastation and the worst thing that can happen before Christmas.”
Kim Codden works at the Billings Man Shop, a barber shop in town, and is one of the parents now having to plan a funeral for her child. Codden's daughter Zoey was one of the 14-year-old girls in the car wreck.
Kemper and her team at the barber shop are helping Codden, a single mother, amid the tragedy by setting up a GoFundMe to collect donations for funeral costs, rent and bills. There is also a jar set out in the shop to collect money, complete with a photo of Codden and Zoey.
“I think for the most part, Kim is really numb. I talked to her today, and she is trying to wrap her head around the situation. I know that she keeps mentioning she wants her daughter to walk back through that door, and she's not going to,” Kemper said.
Storm Lee Skaggs, 18, Weston Lyon, 17, and Mikaylee Reiter, 14, also died in the crash.
“I want the families to know that my heart is with them. This is an absolutely devastating situation. And we’re all here for them to help in any way that we can. And I hope and pray that the community will come together,” Codden said.
A friend of Storm's family set up a GoFundMe page and wrote, "To know Storm was to love Storm."
A GoFundMe for Weston's family was set up by a family friend who wrote that Weston's mother, 8-year-old twin brothers and friends are pushing through this Christmas season "with an emptiness in their hearts." A meal train, where people can sign up to bring food to the family, has also been set up.
Mikaylee Reiter was described as a "spark plug" who ran to the beat of her own drum on one donation page.