CHATTAROY, Wash. — The entire community of Chattaroy is mourning the deaths of an elderly couple killed Sunday night in a Newport Highway wreck. Floyd Nordhagen, 92, and Margaret (Kathryn) Nordhagen, 88, were holding hands in the wreckage when Washington State Patrol troopers arrived on scene.
“You don't see that every day,” said Trooper Rob Spencer. “We actually had to ask her to let go of him so we could get him out of the car.”
“I don't know if they were holding hands before he passed or if she grabbed him afterwards, but it doesn't matter,” said family friend “Britches” Peden. “They would have been holding hands if they could. so that's the way we all want to remember them.”
Peden said he used to help the Nordhagens take care of the farm and ranch land in North Spokane County. Floyd loved his cattle like pets, Peden said.
Friends told KREM that Floyd always bragged about Margaret and how pretty she was. The couple was married for 68 years in July. They have lived in Chattaroy for 45 of those years, according to family friends.
When Floyd started having a hard time pushing the lawn mower, the couple would push it together, according to people who knew them.
Troopers said the Nordhagens were killed when they pulled out in front of an oncoming pickup truck.
“All I can think is that maybe he misjudged the speed,” Peden said. “It could happen to anybody. We all make mistakes, but evidently that was a fatal one, and I'm sure sorry to hear it.”
Two people were in the truck, according to authorities. They said both the driver and passenger in the truck were okay.
The Nordhagens are survived by their four children, 11 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.