U.S. Airman dies in car accident while on leave

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COLUMBIA - The family of a Warrensburg man who sustained critical injuries after a weekend car wreck in Jefferson City told KOMU 8 News Wednesday the driver of the car, has died.

The 26-year-old Air Force Airman, Scott Whitney, was on a two week leave from active duty in Kuwait.

Whitney died at University Hospital in Columbia Monday with family at his side.

Tamara Ray, Whitney's sister, said her family's faith has kept them strong through his death. She said her family's faith teaches they are an "eternal family," and they believe Whitney's sons will see him again. The family has started gathering stories to tell Whitney's two sons so they can know who his father was.

"Most of all, we want them to know their dad and how much he loved them," Ray said. "We want them to know of his faith. We want them to know where he came from and know the funny stories about him...He was the kind of guy to bring a smile to your face and give you a hug," Ray said. "You may not think you need it, but he knew you did."

The Whitney family has set up a fund online asking the public for help with expenses. Arrangements were underway Wednesday for Whitney's military funeral to be held on base at Whiteman.

"We set up a GoFund account to help ease the burdens that have been placed on his wife and kids," Ray said. "They will need lots of support. The military has been a great support, but they will have a lot of expenses, they have a lot of uncertainties to their future."

That website has already raised more than $9,000 for the family. You can find the link to the website here.

"We cannot thank those who have already donated enough," Ray said. "We have been amazed with people's generosity."