LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – A Lincoln family is going through unexpected events after two tragic events less than a month apart.
The Zeiger family lost a father and husband in a fatal motorcycle accident in September, and then just last week their house was gutted by fire. Despite everything the Zeiger family has been through, they find comfort in each other.
Jeffrey Zeiger leaves behind his wife, Marissa, and two daughters. On September 24, Jeffrey was riding his motorcycle home to help his daughter fix her car.
“He was listening to his music, he wasn’t speeding, he wasn’t changing lanes,” Marissa said.
Marissa, his wife of 20 years, said she was supposed to be riding that bike with him that afternoon, but she wasn’t. Jeffrey never came home.
“The girls called me and said daddy was in a collision and they were going to call 911,” Marissa said.
Lincoln Police said a 32-year-old woman passed out in front of Jefferies near Northwest 19th and West ‘O’ streets. Jeffrey later died at the hospital.
“You never imagine that this is what you know, like we had plans for our future and our retirement, and like it’s all gone now,” Marissa said through tears.
“I just feel cheated because my dad won’t see me graduate here or anything. It’s just terrible,” said Jeffery’s 16-year-old daughter Mary, who also cried as she spoke.
Then, just over two weeks after their lives changed forever, on Oct. 12, the family’s northwest Lincoln home caught fire.
“I came home from lunch and my house was on fire,” Marissa said.
Almost everything they owned was destroyed. Even their 11-year-old boxer, Frankie, died in the fire. The fire caused more than $65,000 in damage, according to LFR.
“It was amazing. It’s kind of like you’re in a bad dream. And you just want to wake up, or it’s like somebody’s holding you under water,” said Jeffrey’s 19-year-old daughter Madisine.
For now, Marissa, Marya, and Madisyn are living there until they find a place to rent, and until their home is rebuilt, they’re still trying to deal with everything that’s happened.
“As soon as they let you breathe, they push you down again,” Marya said.
A GoFundMe which started helping the family with things like clothes and other necessary things in order to restore a sense of stability.
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