OKLAHOMA CITY - The father of a foreign exchange student, badly injured in a New Year's Eve crash, has flown across the world to see his daughter in the hospital.
With an emergency visa in hand, the local community helped Dung Tranh Huong travel. His daughter, Nhu, was riding in a car with Mandy Starkey-Carson, when a drunk driver hit them at more than 100 miles an hour.
Starkey-Carson did not survive, though her two daughters did.
Friday, Starkey-Carson's husband, Cory, and a few friends gathered at the airport to welcome Huong.
"I think Cory just feels like this happened here in our country with someone that was not thoughtful," said Kathy Winslow, a family friend. "So he wanted him to know this is not what Oklahoma is. I think he just wants him to feel welcome."
The two men meet and embrace. Translators help Carson and Huong communicate.
"We hoped that we’d meet him under different circumstances but I’m happy that he’s here and he can be with his daughter finally," Carson told NewsChannel 4. "It’s been a lot of emotions in the last five days. This is kind of a highlight. It gives us a little hope so that she has some family here with her."
The two exchanged condolences and tears, talking briefly at baggage claim before heading on to the hospital.
"Let him know I’m so sorry but she’s got the best care, the absolute best care that’s available," Carson told a translator. "I’m so sorry."
Starkey-Carson's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.
The community has started a pair of GoFundMe pages to cover expenses:
Click here for the Memorial for Mandy Starkey-Carson.
Click here for Nhu's Emergency and Medical Fund.
There is also a Facebook page, pushing for a new law to crack down on repeat drunk drivers.
The man arrested in connection with the crash, Craig Maker, 30, had four previous DUI convictions on his record.