Jen Weir is strong—in every sense of the word. In her teens, she overcame obesity. In her twenties, she dedicated herself to helping others do the same, earning a degree in exercise science and founding her own Great Falls-based business, Front Range Fitness. Now in her thirties, she has impacted hundreds of lives with her program. She is determined. She is fit. She is resilient. Jen Weir is a strong woman.
But strength is not found solely within oneself.
If this past year has taught Jen anything, it is that there is strength in community.
“No matter how strong you think you are, you can’t overcome [grief] alone,” she says.
On March 27, 2021, the Weir family was driving along Highway 89, between Great Falls and Belt. Passengers included Jen, her husband, Master Sergeant Tyler Weir, and their three children, Wyatt (age 9), Weston (age 8), and Wakely (age 6). At approximately 8:45am, their vehicle was struck by a semi- truck, spun off the road, and rolled down the embankment.
Jen sustained serious injuries and was taken to Benefis Health System for treatment. Weston and Wakely were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Tyler and Wyatt did not survive.
In the weeks following the accident, Jen experienced a larger outpouring of love than she ever could have imagined.
“It’s been overwhelming the way everyone stepped up to help,” says Jen. “I have always tried to do things on my own, but found out quickly it takes a village. Between the love and amazing support of my family who dropped everything to be there for me and the kids, to the outpouring from people across the country, I realized it was okay to ask for and accept help.”
Support came immediately, not only from Great Falls, but from communities across central Montana. Small business owners put on raffles and events, donating proceeds to the Weirs. A local family lent their private jet for trips back and forth to Seattle. Showdown Ski Area contributed a full day’s worth of revenue—roughly $25,000—toward the Weir family’s medical costs.
“There are probably more fundraisers than I even know about,” says Jen.
Jen has returned to helping people achieve their fitness goals, and she says that “life is good.” Her faith and the love of her community have helped her through the hardest period of her life. She hopes that her children can remain strong and continue moving forward as well.
“I hope this doesn’t define my children,” she says. “I’ve told Wakely that she’s gone through the worst thing that could have come her way. If she can get through that, she can get through anything.”
Jen is grateful to everyone that has helped her family through this difficult time: the first responders on the scene of the accident, the team at Benefis for the care they provided, and the hundreds of people who have offered financial and emotional support when it was needed most.
Across the state, Montanans stepped up to become “Weir Family Warriors.”