Alan “A.J.” and Holly Nicolette were known for their big hearts and supporting friends and family “through challenges that seemed insurmountable at times.”
Friends are now rallying to show that same support to the Mechanicsville, Virginia couple’s family as they face grieving the young parents and raising the two children they left behind.
Alan, 37 and Holly, 40, were vacationing on the Outer Banks for spring break, walking along the shoulder of N.C. 12 in Kitty Hawk Monday afternoon with their children, 6 and 8, and Alan’s parents.
They were facing traffic, as required by state law, when a pickup truck veered across the road. The driver, an older man, suffered a medical emergency or fell asleep, police said.
Alan, Holly, their son and Alan’s father were hit. The boy and Alan Nicolette Sr. suffered minor injuries. But Alan and Holly, who friends say may have put themselves in more danger by pushing their child out of the way, were fatally injured.
On Thursday, a GoFundMe campaign created by friend Chris Updike to help the family raise the Nicolette’s children had already raised more than $50,000 of a $60,000 goal.
“Their friendship and kindness has meant so much to each of us who knew them,” Updike wrote. “Alan and Holly leave behind two amazing children that now need our support. Funds raised will go directly to the Nicolette family, who now takes on the responsibility to raise these sweet children.”
Alan Nicolette, a Leesburg native and 2000 graduate of Loudoun County High School, met his wife Holly when they both attended Longwood University.
Alan was a founding father of the Mu Phi Chapter of Sigma Nu, and Holly a devoted Zeta Tau Alpha, Updike wrote.
Holly was a beloved teacher at South Anna Elementary School in Hanover County, where she taught fourth and fifth grades for 13 years.
Alan was a successful businessman “well respected by his colleagues, clients, and those he mentored on a daily basis,” Updike said.
Funeral arrangements for the couple are underway.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.