Posted: Feb 11, 2013 6:03 PM by Jessica Holley - email@example.com
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 6:48 PM
LIVE OAK COUNTY - People in George West are mourning the loss of a mother and her three young children who were killed in a fiery crash on Sunday. The father managed to escape but is in the hospital, with internal injuries.
They were a young family, 24-year-old Andrew Lopez and his bride of 7 months 22-year-old Joannie Lopez. Sunday morning Joannie was driving her husband and three young children Andrew Jr.,Alanzo, and Christopher back from Beeville on Highway 59. Neighbor of 16 years Jim Caruso never expected a fatal crash was the reason he didn't see the kids out playing in the yard Sunday.
"I was out yesterday looking around and they were always playing in the yard, it was kind of bad, but they still come out. And they weren't home at all," say Caruso.
DPS Troopers say fatigue could be the reason for the fiery crash. They say the Lopez family slammed into a live oak tree resulting in the car setting fire and ultimately taking the life of a mother and her three young children. Caruso learned about the tragic news just an hour before we spoke with him, while he was gassing up his truck. And now this town of two thousand is grieving these deaths.
"They are just realizing it now because no body really knew. The word is just getting out really, that it really happened," says Caruso.
According to State Troopers the SUV instantly burst into flames, Joannie and the children were burned inside the vehicle and miraculously father, Andrew, managed to escape with only a few broken bones and internal injuries. One DPS trooper who worked the crash Sunday morning says the four bodies were burned beyond recognition.
"Very sad. Very sad to hear about. It's going to be very tough for the city including the family of course," says Caruso.
A memorial with flowers has been set up along the side of the highway where four young lives were cut short.
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