Four years ago, Ashten Meyer was celebrating Christmas with both his mom and dad.
This Christmas, he won’t have either.
On Thursday the 8-year-old lost his father, Donald ‘DJ’ Meyer, after a 12-foot-trench collapsed on top of him.
Meyer was working as a private subcontractor, setting up a sewer line for a new home. His body was located nearly 8-feet underground, hours after first responders began their rescue efforts.
“He was too young. He’s 33-years-old. He had his whole life ahead of him. He had Ashten’s whole life ahead of him,” said Dani Lister, one of DJ’s older sisters.
Overcome with grief, Dani and three of her sisters traveled from Iowa to Oak Grove, Missouri to comfort DJ’s only son. Ashten, they say, was DJ’s world.
“It’s really rough. It’s going to be rough on Ashten when he wakes up in the morning and runs down the stairs and daddy is not there,” said Lister.
Over the last three years the holidays have been tough for the young boy. Three years ago, Ashten’s mom suddenly died from a blood clot. Now, his grandmother and extended family will help take care of him.
"Really its minute by minute because all of us, our main focus in Ashten and making sure he is ok and know we are not going to forget him. And that his daddy loved him to pieces. Mommy and daddy both,” said Kristena Mayes, another aunt.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with future expenses, such as buying Ashten Christmas gifts. His father was supposed to go shopping this weekend.
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at Ariel.Rothfield@KSHB.com.