‘Everything was going up for both of them:’ Friends share memories of couple killed in crash

The Crowley couple killed in a wrong-way crash on the Chisholm Trail Parkway early Sunday had just purchased a home and were looking forward to settling in North Texas, according to their family.

Kristen and Jared Huddleston were headed west on Interstate 30 and had just taken the Chisholm Trail Parkway exit when their SUV was struck by a vehicle traveling east in the westbound lanes. Both Jared and Kristen died at the scene. Investigators believe the wrong-way driver who hit them was drunk, police said.

Rafael Ortiz, Kristen’s father, told Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV that the couple were soulmates.

“They were happy,” Ortiz told WFAA. “That’s the happiest I’ve seen my daughter as an adult. They’re still happy together. Couldn’t separate them.”

Kristen, 35, and Jared, 42, both were veterans who served in the Marine Corps. Stephanie Reynolds told the Star-Telegram that she and her husband were stationed with Jared at Camp Lejeune around 20 years ago. He was a frequent visitor at their house, and Reynolds described him as a tough-looking guy with “a heart of gold.”

“He would give you the shirt off his back if he needed to, and he would do anything for anybody,” Reynolds said.

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She never met Kristen, Reynolds said, but she could see from Jared’s social media posts how happy they were together.

“It just seems to us that once he met her, everything was going up for both of them,” she said.

Ortiz said in a public social media post that his daughter was “an amazing shining light” and he’d had tremendous excitement about the woman she was growing into. Kristen was just one semester away from becoming a forensic philologist, according to Ortiz.

“There is no combination of words that can describe the pain that is ravaging me and my family,” he posted. “All I ask is for prayers and blessing.”

Ortiz told WFAA that Kristen and Jared had moved to North Texas to be close to him.

The couple purchased a home in Crowley, and on Oct. 31 Kristen announced their new home on social media.

“It has been a journey for us to get here and we are thankful to have made it (to) this point,” she posted. “To those who have been by our side through the tears and sweat, thank you. To my husband, this is only the beginning.”

Reynolds said what makes it so hard about Jared and Kristen’s deaths is that they were preventable. It made her angry to learn they were killed by a drunk driver, she said.

“Everybody makes mistakes, and I totally understand that,” she said. “But this mistake cost two people lives and all of their children all these memories that they could have had together, and it just sucks.”

Jail records identify the driver of the wrong-way vehicle as 27-year-old Andrew Adamson. He was arrested early Sunday morning on two counts of intoxicated manslaughter.

Reynolds established a GoFundMe to help the couple’s children and other family members. A separate GoFundMe was established for Kristen’s family.