‘God wasn’t ready for me:’ Alabama youth pastor recovers from crash that killed wife, unborn child

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LYNN, Ala. (WIAT) — When asked about the crash that killed his wife and unborn daughter, a Winston County pastor said, “God wasn’t ready for me.”

It’s been two months since Jacob Eaton lost his wife Breanna and their unborn daughter Adelaide in a head-on crash in Walker County.

“I promised my wife and my little girl that I would get better and that I would heal physically and mentally from all of this,” said Eaton.

Eaton and his wife both ministered to children in the youth program at Lynn Church of God.

The family was returning from worship with others at a conference in Cullman when the crash occurred on AL-69. Investigators said the couple was hit head-on by the driver of another vehicle. The crash remains under investigation.

“It may not always feel fair, but I feel God had a plan, not only for my life, but he has a plan for the people that were in the accident,” said Eaton.

The church’s pastor and his wife, Chris and Alisha Stokes, came to help after the crash. Alisha Stokes has been blown away to see Jacob’s recovery after seeing him the night of the wreck.

“I honestly didn’t think he was alive. I thought he was gone. And so, to see him where he is today and to see that God spared him, we miss Bree, and we miss Addy, but I’m so thankful that God chose to at least leave us with him,” said Stokes.

Jacob Eaton uses a cane and attends rehab three days a week. He’d like to continue ministering to others.

“This isn’t really fair for me to have to lose my family, but at the same time, I think it has opened the door for many people. I didn’t realize my story had went as far as it had, and it has opened the door for many people to know who God is,” said Eaton.

While he doesn’t remember the crash, there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t miss his growing family.

“She was my anchor, she like completed me,” said Eaton.

Breanna Eaton will also be missed at church, where she sang and was a leader.

“There’s a void. It’s almost like there is a hole right here and it hurts to breathe sometimes because you do, you miss her, Stokes continued. “She made everyone feel welcome and loved, I miss her text messages of encouragement.”

Eaton told CBS 42 he was able to hold his daughter.

“Being able to hold her before she was buried was a big thing for me,” said Eaton.

COVID-19 cases began to rise as Eaton was in the hospital. Towards the end of his stay, visitors were restricted.

The virus has also kept him from reuniting at church with members of his youth group. Church leaders hope to be able to hold services with everyone soon.

While Eaton continues to grieve, he finds some comfort knowing his family is in a better place.

“For like days and days in the hospital I just sat there, it was nice knowing where my wife and daughter were at now and I don’t have to worry about them,” said Eaton.

The crash remains under investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.


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