410 overpass crash victims' family: 'It's devastating'

KING 5's Alex Rozier reports.

From the first time they met, most who knew them believed they were the perfect match.

Josh and Vanessa Ellis met at a church in the Skagit Valley before they ended up working together at a church in Bonney Lake.

"They were the best couple, they really were," Vanessa's mom Diane Hess said. "They cherished one another, they respected one another. To me, it's what a perfect marriage should be."

This is the first time the parents of Josh and Vanessa have spoken publicly since a construction barrier fell off a highway and landed directly on top of their truck, killing Josh, Vanessa, and their eight- month-old baby boy Hudson.

"There was a lot of pain caused by this, but I know Josh and Vanessa would want good to come of it in the end," Hess said. "Our intent here today is to leave it on a positive note, and to keep loving each other, just keep loving each other."

Those related to Josh and Vanessa have kept faith as their focus in the days after the crash.

"I'm just going to hang onto God right now," Josh's mom Rhonda Ellis said. "I don't think if I had God to get me through this that I would be here right now."

"Losing a child, losing a family, losing a generation, two generations, it's devastating," Rhonda said. "I think the biggest thing to make known is that an amazing family is gone, one that did much for the kingdom of God, and loved with a passion."

Despite the devastating circumstances surrounding the family's death, Diane and Rhonda want them to be remembered for how they lived.

"He (Josh) said 'Mom, I'm living my dream,'" Rhonda said. "And that's what they did together. They lived the dream and most people don't even have that."

Their baby boy Hudson meant the world to his parents.

"He was starting to laugh and crawl and just getting into that really fun stage of life," Rhonda said. "He could tell he was loved and he knew he had a lot of love in him."

At this point the family has no interest in talking about how this crash happened or who may have been at fault. Right now they said they want to maintain their focus on their family members who were lost and the incredible legacy they left behind.

"All of them had such a light, a glow, not only did you have one person light up the room, but now you had three that were like a beam of light," Rhonda said.

"I think that's what attracted people to them was that they had so much love for each other that it spilled out onto other people and they fell in love with them," Josh's dad Wayne Ellis said. "Who knows how many people have a new life today just because they met them."

When you remember the Ellis family, remember them by the phrase that Josh's sister Jess had tattooed on her arm: love well.

"In order to leave a legacy you have to live one," Jess Ellis said. "And in order to continue their story we need to live it too."

"Love well. Forgive often," Rhonda Ellis said. "They were just a perfect portrait of how I think god intended life to be."


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