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‘It takes a village’: Family helping kids after fatal crash

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — The family of a woman who was killed in a crash this week is coming together to help the children she left behind.

Jennifer Barnett was killed in a crash Wednesday on Algoma Avenue between 13 Mile Road and Rector Street NE. Two of her sons were also hospitalized in the crash.

Family members say the death of the 35-year-old mother of five was another major hit to a group of children who have already gone through a lot.

"Their mom is not coming back. That's the biggest hole of all. We can't replace her. You can't replace her,” said Misty Coons, Barnett’s sister-in-law. “How do your help you nephews that have been through so much?"

The family said the children lost their stepmother two weeks ago and received news that their 3-year-old brother Mason was in remission after a yearlong battle with cancer.

"Even when she was going through rough times most of the time you couldn't tell. She loved so much I don't think she realized how much that she loved," said Jeff Tolar Jr., Barnett’s brother.

Now, Barnett’s loved ones are coming together to help the children that she loved so much.

“We just all have to come together and be that village that those kids need every single day of their life just remind that what an amazing mom they had, never let them forget it," Coons said.

The family has created a GoFundMe to cover the cost of funeral services and provide for the children.

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