Woman visiting husband's grave dies after cemetery crash

'They were basically never apart'

BERN TWP., Pa. - A Berks County woman visiting her husband's grave died after she had an asthma attack that caused her to crash her car in the cemetery. Her family is heartbroken.

"If you have family and loved ones, keep them as close as possible to you, because they can go at any time," daughter-in-law Melanie Heist said Tuesday.

Nancy Heist, 68, of Colebrookdale Township, died about four hours after the crash Saturday evening at the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Pottstown, Montgomery County, the Berks County coroner said Monday.

"What's killing us is that she went over at night is what's really bothering us all," said Melanie.

Nancy's 76-year-old husband, Walter, died February 10 after 42 years of marriage.

Nancy had the asthma attack while driving about 6 p.m. That caused her to lose control of her car, which glanced off a tree and hit another head on.

The coroner said Nancy was trapped in the car for hours but survived the crash before she was rescued. She was taken to Reading Hospital, where she died of respiratory failure.

"Make sure you tell them you love them as much as possible," said Melanie. "It can happen in the blink of an eye, and it certainly did for us."

Melanie said the couple's love story started in a memorable way.

"Walt actually put an ad in the paper and Nancy actually answered it is how they met," she said.

What's most shocking is Nancy was from South Bend, Indiana.

"She was in Pennsylvania for some reason, I don't remember what, and happened to see the news article and answered it," said Melanie while laughing. "They always did everything together. They were basically never apart, ever."

And now they are together again.

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