Camping trip ends in tragedy | WBEZ
Skip to main content


Camping trip ends in tragedy

Kathleen Monahan met her future husband, Tim, after he left the seminary.

Kathleen: Dad (her husband, Tim) was in the seminary, and he came out. I saw him walking, and it sounds really hokey, but I looked at him and I thought, “Oh. That guy could be the father of my children.”

And he was. The couple, who both worked in the social services, married and had five children who all grew up to be teachers.

When their youngest child was ready to go off to college, the couple decided to grab a few days together, and went off on a camping trip. They enjoyed a beautiful lazy day, until another car ran a stop sign.

Kathleen: The next thing I know, someone’s pounding on the window saying, “This one’s alive.”

To find out what happened next, and how the family coped with it, listen to Kathleen and three of her children telling their family's story in the audio above. They shared their story at the new StoryCorps booth at Chicago's Cultural Center.

Katie Kather is an arts & culture reporting intern at WBEZ. Follow her @ktkather.


Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.