HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- The Barham twins of Hanover County said they were grateful to the families and strangers who reached out to them since their father was killed in a freak construction accident earlier this month.
"They're nice for doing all that," said 11-year-old Christian Barham. "And thank you for helping us and thanks for being supportive."
The boys' father, career brickmason Billy Barham, was killed June 15 while using a high-powered masonry saw on the Collegiate School jobsite in western Henrico County.
The saw apparently kicked back and cut him across the neck, an accident that remains under investigation. There were no apparent safety violations, WTVR CBS 6 earlier reported.
Since then, a GoFundMe campaign has already raised more than $17,000 for the boys' future needs.
"Most assuredly we want to give great thanks to everyone that has donated," said Travis Barham, Billy's brother. "Families of the Collegiate School . . . friends, family, community. It far exceeds anything we ever imagined."
He said his 43-year-old brother had been doing masonry work with Breedlove Masonry, owned by relatives, since he was 16 years old. He said Billy was an accomplished mason and well-versed in using the tricky cut-off saw.
"It's hard to explain," Travis said. "You know he used those almost daily and he was very good with them."
The twin boys said they'll miss their father and their roving through the woods, target shooting competitions and their trips to a trampoline center.
Billy Barham was an avid hunter and fisherman who built his own home. He was teaching his boys the tricks of the trade when he added a garage, retaining wall and brick planters, his wife said.
She figures the boys will follow in their father's footsteps, even though his death has left her less certain about the trade that supported them and built their rural home.
Christian Barham said they're grateful to all the people who came up to them at the funeral, offering help and comfort if they ever need it.
To donate to the Ryan and Christian's GoFundMe campaign click here.