BILLINGS — The GoFundMe fundraisers to benefit the families of two tow-truck operators killed in a Sunday crash near Columbus smashed their original goals of $10,000 each, bringing in $59,000 collectively by Tuesday evening.
Nick Visser, 37 of Billings, and Casie Allen, 28 of Reed Point, were struck and killed by a passing car while trying to recover a vehicle from Interstate 90 east of Columbus.
The men's employer, Hanser's Automotive of Billings, set up separate fundraising pages to go to the families or funeral costs and other expenses.
Visser's fundraiser had reached $40,000 of its $50,000 goal by Tuesday evening. Allen's fundraiser reached $19,000 of its $25,000 goal at the same time.
Visser, a husband and father, leaves behind a wife and five kids. He was a man who loved motorcycles, beards and his wife's good cooking. He may have looked tough, but coworkers said his soul was gentle and kind.
Allen, was described as a sweet, soft-spoken man who loved the great outdoors, who deserved more time fishing, bow hunting and shooting.
On Monday, the owners of Hanser's Automotive in Billings urged the community to practice safety while driving on the roads in winter conditions.
Members of the Yellowstone Valley Tow Truck Association and other first responders will flash their lights from the Billings Rimrocks to honor the two operators on Friday at 7 p.m.