Newlywed Bride Killed In Crash Gives Gift Of Life Through Organ Donation
Source: CBS Action News, Omaha
Omaha, NE - The story of Jessica and Tony Bedient, the newlywed victims of a suspected drunk driving crash, broke hearts across the city. A young bride and her husband on their way back from her niece's first birthday party, according to family friends. Jessica was killed in the car crash, just five weeks after her wedding. But out of this tragic loss, an incredible gift from this young woman, giving others new hope.
"That was Jess," said Mary Ziegenbein, a family friend. "That was something that Jess would do."
The entire city of Ashland, NE, grieving the loss of Jessica Bedient. Today, those close to her say her spirit lives on through organ donation.
"Her heart went to a 12-year-old girl and her lungs went to a 54-year-old man, and her eyes are going to be able to go to someone, too," said Ziegenbein.
Jessica's selflessness, an inspiration to Ziegenbein, who's known her since she was a child.
"That was Jess. That's something Jess would do. She was so giving in all ways, and that's something she would do, just give in any way she could," Ziegenbein said.
Ziegenbein coached Jess in sports. Her daughter was friends with Jess growing up. The two, sorority sisters in college.
"She just had a heart of gold. She was very giving, always willing to help, volunteer, do anything," Ziegenbein said.
Ziegenbein's daughter says the irony of the accident is that Jess was often the designated driver when her friends partied.
"That's the sad part about it, that someone would give up drinking to make sure people got home safe and here she was the one that would get hit by a drunk driver. That's just unreal. That's just hard to believe," Ziegenbein said.
Her story, touching many across the country. She and her husband's CaringBridge web site has nearly 40,000 visitors and more than 1,000 posts from friends and strangers alike.
An update on the site says her husband, Tony's body is healing but his heart is broken. The family posted that he may go home as early as this weekend.
Funeral arrangements for Jessica are being finalized by the family.