“O” on Table Mountain changed to “A” for teen killed in car accident – Mercury-Register

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Family and friends of Austin Mallow, 17, who was killed in a car accident near Elco, Nev. on Friday night, changed the O on Table Mountain to an A in his memory. (Mary Weston/Staff Photo)

OROVILLE — The “O” on Table Mountain has been temporarily changed to an “A” in memory of former Oroville resident Austin Mallow, 17, who was killed in a car accident last Friday.

Family and friends changed the O to an A in memory of their beloved grandson, nephew, cousin and friend who was killed in an accident with his family on Highway 80 near Elko, Nev.

“He was very well behaved and polite and funny and loving, so he had lots of friends,” said his step grandfather Patrick Fox.

Mallow was traveling home with his family to Williston, N. D., after a week-long family reunion in Oroville visiting his father, Eric Mallow, aunts and cousins and grandparents Bessie and Robert Mallow, Sarah Harris and Fox, and great-grandparents Meredith and Jean Hathaway.

Austin’s great-grandmother Betty Harris came from Southern California. They spent a week going out on a houseboat and visiting together as a family, not knowing that would be their last time with Austin.

No one knows what caused the accident, but around 11 p.m., Fox said Mallow’s mother Sommer Russell lost control of the car and it rolled several times stopping in the eastbound lane of the road.

Mallow was ejected from the car. Sommer suffered brain and spinal injuries, Fox said. Daughters Mackenzie, 9, had deep lacerations on her head and other places, Carlie, 6, only had bruises and abrasions.

Sommer’s husband S.J. Russell was not injured. They were flown in two helicopters about 200 miles to a hospital in

Salt Lake City, Fox said.

Mallow’s grandmother Harris, of Oroville, couldn’t talk about it yet without crying.

Monday afternoon she was waiting for a test at Oroville Hospital. She had back surgery five weeks ago, and she has to have another back surgery too.

Fox said he has kept her from going to Salt Lake because she would probably end up in the hospital over there too.

Harris’ daughter, Brooke Harris, went to Salt Lake City to stay with her sister in intensive care. Brooke’s daughter Shawna Jackson, 20, went to take care of Carlie.

Another daughter, Crystal, wants to go stay with his sister, but she doesn’t have enough money.

“We’re just trying to hold everything together right now,” Fox said.

He said Sommer and her daughters are about 1,000 miles away from their home, and the family there would like to be with them to help, but they don’t know how long she will be in the hospital. People have called with words of support asking if they can send flowers, but the hospital doesn’t allow flowers.

At this time, the family needs money to pay for traveling expenses and lodging near the hospital.

Fox set up an account for the family at Chase Bank at 2001 Oro Dam Blvd., Oroville, but donations can be given at any Chase Branch to account #110903030.

Fox said the silver lining is that the family is pulling together to get through a tragic loss. He said it came at a bad time for everyone with Sara’s medical costs, but they want to have more family at the hospital to help Sommer who doesn’t yet know her son died in the accident.

“Austin was such a big part of the family,” he said. “We all had a good time together out on the houseboat and eating pizza in town. Sometimes things go bad and no one knows why.”

He said family is the most important thing in life, and they will get through this.

“Money and possessions are not the important things in life,” Fox said. “I would give everything I have to get Austin back, but it doesn’t work that way.”

The students at Williston High School had a parade with about 35 cars in Austin’s memory, Fox said.

Staff writer Mary Weston can be reached at 533-4415 or

car-accident – Google News

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