Sen. Dave Hansen Speaks Out About Granddaughter
GREEN BAY - It's something Senator Dave Hansen is trying to come to terms with - causing the death of his own grandchild. On top of which he's slowly moving forward - while knowing it's so easy to look back.
The tragic accident took his 2-year-old granddaughter's life last month.
Now Hansen and his wife Jane open up about their beloved Ellie's life and her legacy.
Ellie Zaidel did so much in her short life to inspire others. She was a constant companion to her beloved grandparents. Ellie Hansen was tragically killed after her grandfather, Dave, accidentally ran over her when she ran outside as he was leaving home for a meeting.
Now, Dave and Jane Hansen are creating a fund in Ellie's honor, to help others in her name.
Ask Dave and Jane Hansen about their beloved Ellie, and it always comes back to that smile.
“She was a very special person, always smiling, a very happy girl,” Dave Hansen said.
“Ellie was everyone's. Ellie had this smile that brought everyone together,” Jane Hansen added.
It was that same smile that touched the hearts of thousands after her tragic death.
“Just ordinary citizens showing us a lot of love. That means a lot,” Dave Hansen said.
Now, they're calling for their support in celebrating their granddaughter's life through Ellie's Fund.
“This is a way to keep Ellie's name alive,” Jane Hansen said.
“What we're trying to do is take her life and give part of it back to some people who really need help,” Dave Hansen said.
Ellie's also inspired her own family to do better in her name.
"To do our very best and become the very best state senator I can become in honor of her, and make life a little better for everyone who's left,” Dave Hansen said.
“She was just a special little girl and we miss her tremendously,” Jane Hansen said.
“What can we say; we just loved her a lot. Our little princess is now a little angel in heaven,” Dave Hansen said.
An angel, leaving behind a legacy of love.
They haven't decided what Ellie's Fund will be used for. They're hoping to create scholarships and outdoor projects because Ellie loved nothing more than playing outside with her family.