Franklin police host toy drive to honor mother, son killed in tragic crash

(Photo: WKRN)

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Franklin police are calling on the community to help collect toys for local kids in need.

The toy drive is inspired from tragedy after a grieving father and grandfather turned their sorrow into hope.

Ten handcrafted toy chests currently sit in the Franklin Police Department. They were made by Brad Lewis, who lost his daughter and grandson after an icy wreck along Interstate 65 nearly three years ago.

Kristi Clark and Carter Oakley
Kristi Clark and Carter Oakley (Courtesy: Facebook)

Kristi Clark and her son Carter were hit and killed by a semi while trying to help people from an overturned SUV.

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Kristi’s father, Brad, started making chests last year as a way to honor their memory. He then approached the police department, hoping to fill them with toys for kids.

“Mr. Lewis reached out to me, and said I would like to give back, I would like to do something for the people of Franklin, and I make these toy boxes,” said Deborah Faulkner, Franklin Chief of Police. “I said we’ll fill them, we’ll give them to children here, so out of this tragedy came something positive, something special.”

(Photo: WKRN)

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Before long, 12 boxes were filled to the brim. Police say it seemed like right when a specific need would rise for a child someone came through. 

“It was just chilling how many times we found out about a special need, or something the child really wanted for Christmas, and it popped up,” said Faulkner.

Anyone wishing to donate to the 2017 cause, is asked to drop off new, unopened toys at the police department during business hours. They are located at 900 Columbia Avenue.