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Two brothers die in separate crashes one month apart, family talks tragedy

EDWARDSBURG, Mich. — The grief stricken family of a young man who died in a car accident Wednesday worry how they will afford his funeral expenses.

Police say the driver was 27-year-old Joshua Kilian and his passenger, 30-year-old Nickole Lynn Nichols, both died in the accident. Police believe around 8 p.m. their car veered off of Elkhart Road near Redfield Street.

Investigators say the vehicle caught fire and Kilian and Nichols were trapped inside.

Kilian’s younger brother Ransleykyle Barnes, or RK, says Kilian had just visited him at work and was headed to get his car fixed when the accident happened.

He saw him just thirty minutes before he got a call from police about the accident.

“I told him I loved him, we made plans for the weekend. And to just think that would be the last time I would see my brother is just unreal,” says Barnes.

At just 21-years-old, Barnes and his younger siblings aren’t strangers to tragedy.

In 2010, their mom passed away. RK, Josh, and brother Rozzie were put in foster care.

It was a rough time for the brothers but Barnes says bonding with two of their foster siblings was their saving grace.

They became extremely close and consider them their fourth and fifth brothers.

“We got through it because we had each other,” says Barnes.

Seven years after their mother’s death, life seemed to be going pretty well.

RK and wife Dakota celebrated their wedding on October 7th, 2017. They say the day was picture perfect, filled with love and support from family.

“I thought the day was going to be the greatest day of my life,” says Barnes.

The next morning, Barnes learned that his brother David had gotten into a car accident after the wedding and died on impact.

“When he died I thought it couldn’t possibly have gotten any worse. A few weeks later I was just getting to the point where everything was fine and then my other brother died. It’s hard because it feels like the one still isn’t gone and then you’ve got two of them gone at the same time,” says Barnes.

Barnes says his family was not at all prepared to financially afford the tragedies.

“My little brother Rozzie is 19. I’m 21 and we have to plan our 27 year old brothers funerl alone. It’s difficult to have to plan something like this because we don’t have anyone to turn to for guidance  Nobody was prepared for him to go. But I know that together we can get through it,” says Barnes.

To help the family on their GoFundMe Page, click here.

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