ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — Family members are remembering a man killed after a tree limb fell through his windshield in St. Charles County.

His wife called it a freak accident that took her husband right as he was getting his life on track.

"This is the last, last thing we expected." 

It happened around 2 p.m. on Friday.

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"I found out about it on the news," Sara Carroll said. "I saw my car on TV." 

For Carroll, the accident that stopped traffic just south of Route M was heartbreaking.

"It's one thing when you find out something is going on with your life on the news, then you get details from a cop," she said. "It's another thing when the news tells you he's impaled."

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Carroll's husband, John R. Dean, was killed instantly when a limb from a dead tree fell through his windshield as he was driving.

"It would be easier if I had somebody to blame, but I don't. It was a freak accident," she said. "Of all the things in the world that could have happened, literally, a tree fell. And it wasn't even storming. It wasn't rainy; it wasn't windy."

Carroll said she and John have been partners for more than 10 years.

The life they built together revolved around their love of family, horses and one another.

"It wasn't like he had his identity and I had mine. It was John and Sara everywhere we went, we did it together... I didn't realize how much I depended on him to just be a person until half of who you are is gone." 

She wants him to be remembered for his heart, not as a headline.

"John, he wanted to make everybody happy," she said. "He wanted to make everything work and he wanted so badly to fix broken things that he had tried to fix. And he was doing it, and we were getting there." 

Carroll has a rare spine condition and said John also was her caretaker.

Close friends set up a fundraiser to help her through this tough time.