Isabella Co. Family At Heart Of Community Support After Daughter’s Death

“In this tragedy, people are coming together.”

It was an outpouring of support for a family a month after they lost their four-year-old daughter in a tragic car crash.

Mandy Flachs and her daughter, Kaylee, were driving through the intersection of M-20 and Winn Road in Isabella County on October 4.

That’s when deputies say a driver ran a red light and hit them.

Mandy was seriously injured.

Kaylee died at the scene.

On Saturday, family and friends, and community came together to help them more than a month after this tragedy.

“It’s just a joy to be able to be a part of this for being the tragedy that it has become,” says Shelly Bailey-Riehl, Mandy’s first cousin.

A sea of pink shirts all adorned with a set of angel wings with the letter “K” on the back filled the room as the Weidman Eagles Aerie transformed into a full house in support of the Flachs’ family.

“To be able to pull something like this off in such a short period of time,” says Carol Jackson, Mandy’s cousin and benefit organizer. “We’ve met. We’ve had meetings after meetings after meetings and sent people out on the road.”

Jackson says the goal was to raise as much money as possible all to help Mandy through the tragic loss of Kaylee.

“Every single thing, item here is donated,” Jackson says. “It touches us. It really does. I mean, to see people just coming in, we want to donate this, something that they had, like those doors, like you said, they’re from the 1800s. He had offers to sell those. He says no. I want to bring them here to this benefit and give the money to the family.”

“It makes me feel really, really gracious,” Bailey-Riehl says.

Shelly says the same.

Seeing this ocean of support for Kaylee was everything.

“This young little girl, this little four-year-old girl could have so many people come in and touch, just be a part of just saying I’m here for you, for your family, and that we’re sorry that the family is going through this but we’re here,” Bailey-Riehl says. “We’re here to help you get through this.”

Anyone who missed the benefit can still donate at the Isabella Bank and Trust.

Just ask for the “Flachs Family Benefit” account.

“Family and friends, we gather around and we support those that need,” Jackson says.

“If you can just, you know, a word or two to the family,” Bailey-Riehl says. “This is a loss that they are going to live for the rest of their lives, so just to reach out and comfort. The holidays are going to be horrible for them because they don’t have that love, that person that they had with them.”