WHEN highway patrol troopers attended a fatal car crash on Sunday night they discovered a rare and touching sight amid the horrifying crash scene.
In the wreckage was an elderly couple and the lady was still holding hands with her husband.
Floyd Nordhagen, 92, was already dead and his wife, Margaret, 88, would soon die at the crash scene.
Livestock breeders in the rural community of Chattaroy in Washington state, the Nordhagens were known among their friends and neighbours for their devotion to each other, reports KREM news.
Floyd was a “man who would help anyone in need, and a husband who always took great care of his wife, who suffered from Alzheimer’s”.
Friends told KREM “always bragged about Margaret and how pretty she was”.
The couple had celebrated 68 years of marriage in July.
A family friend said Floyd had stopped him one day and said, “make sure you always hug and kiss your wife, that is something I do every day”.
The Nordhagens had moved to a farm in the Chattaroy neighbourhood in the late 1960s to rear cattle.
When Floyd became too feeble to push the lawnmower, Margaret would help him.
According to Washington State patrol troopers, the Nordhagens were killed when their vehicle pulled out in front of an oncoming pick-up truck.
“All I can think is that maybe he misjudged the speed,” a friend, “Britches” Peden, said. “It could happen to anybody. We all make mistakes, but evidently that was a fatal one, and I’m sure sorry to hear it.”
Trooper Rob Spencer said the officers attending the scene had found Mrs Nordhagen holding on to her husband’s hand.
“You don’t see that every day,” he said.
They had to ask Mrs Nordhagen to let go of her husband, before they pulled his body from the wreckage. She subsequently died at the scene.
“I don’t know if they were holding hands before he passed or if she grabbed him afterwards, but it doesn’t matter,” Mr Peden said.
“They would have been holding hands if they could. so that’s the way we all want to remember them.”
Married July 18, 1945, the Nordhagens are survived by four children, 11 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.