Jack and Joyce Daniels dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus Saturday morning. The couple made an appearance at Farmers & Merchants State Bank in Winterset, IA.
After listening to Christmas wishes, the Daniels’ made their way home along a wintry Iowa road.
Iowa State Patrol and Madison County Sheriff’s Office reported the couple’s vehicle slipped off the road at roughly 11:30 a.m., rolled once, then landed upside-down in a ditch on St. Charles Road.
Jack was rushed to the hospital and is currently recovering from a broken shoulder blade and collarbone. His other injuries were not as severe.
Joyce did not survive the accident.
Jack’s younger brother, Larry Daniels, shared the couple has been impersonating Santa and Mrs. Claus for at least the past fifteen years.
“They loved children and loved to make them happy,” Larry explained. “They’d give them small gifts, all out of their own pocket.”
Of Joyce, Larry said, “Everybody was her friend. …She would do anything for anybody.”
Claude Daniels, Jack’s other younger brother, said, “A few weeks ago, it was cold out, but they went and they saw 148 kids.”
Jennie Hargrove of Winterset shared she took her 7-month-old daughter Reba to the bank on Saturday. Her daughter sat on Daniels’ lap and had a great time.
Upon hearing what happened to the Daniels’, Hargrove shared, “It’s a really sad situation so close to the holidays. Joyce and Jack were being kind and doing a service to their community, and it sadly ended in tragedy. I know many people in Madison County feel the loss.”
By Kenya Sinclair