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Now, I know what a hero looks like

Gone, but not soon forgotten

NICKERSON — Trey Jones’ final act on earth saved a life.

His choice to be a organ donor will save 9 lives.

The Nickerson track coach and father of Iowa basketball commit Ava Jones had an instant to react to a speeding vehicle out-of-control in Louisville, Ky. 

Jones was athletic and fit as anyone who was 42 years old. But Jones was no match for thousands of pounds of vehicle racing at his family.

For most folks, self preservation would be high on the list at this point.

Not Trey.

What could Trey do with a vehicle racing at his family?

The only thing a father could do — save someone!

Trey’s final act on earth was to push his son Creek out of harm’s way.

If you ask Trey he would say he didn’t do enough. He wanted to save his whole family.

Creek sustained scrapes, but kept his poise like a state champion. 

A few seconds later, he used a cell phone to call grandma Mary.

“Grandma, we need help.”

Grandma Mary asked to talk with Trey before getting interrupted... 

“Grandma, we need help.”

Help was soon on the way.

Thanks to a quick-thinking bystander, Creek was protected and taken to a safe place.

Trey’s wife Amy and daughter Ava remain hospitalized with severe injuries.

But there’s promising news that they will make full recoveries.

Amy is moving and opening her eyes. 


If you know Ava, you know she’s got Trey and Amy’s best genes. She’s a fighter. The word that nurses have used for Ava is “feisty.”

I love it.

Nickerson High School librarian Nikki Barton and Principal Rick Blosser delivered an emotional tribute for the family Sunday night.

Prayers and songs paid homage to a family that fits Robert Frost’s poetry, “But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.”

Friends and youngsters wrote inspirational notes. The notes were burned, rising into the sky, knowing that Trey would see their messages of hope.

Just as Blosser was offering a final prayer, huge fireworks were shot into the sky, making for a majestic finish.

It’s been a tough time for our family. Trey was our son Seth’s best friend. 

Trey was a genuine friend — unselfish, funny and a tireless advocate for his wife Amy, his sons Creek and Hunter and his daughter Ava.

Later that night, Trey delivered on his final request to be an organ donor.

Trey’s Honor Walk honored his donation that will help save and preserve a better life for 9 people.

Hunter and Creek were blessed to carry out their father’s final request. 

Trey’s mother, Mary (Hoss) Jones, said it best.

“He would have helped a lot of people in life. But he will in death too. That’s who he is.”

The final moments when Creek and Hunter said good-bye for the last time were heartbreaking.

Creek patted his father for the final time.

I think I’m a tough guy, but I’m crying right now thinking about it. 

But I know what a hero looks like.