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Judson grads killed in crash

Kaila Gomez, Steven Oliver planned to marry

SAN ANTONIO - Two recent graduates of Judson High School are being mourned after they were killed in a car accident this past Saturday.

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Family members say 18-year-old Kaila Marie Gomez and her boyfriend 18-year-old Steven David Oliver were killed when the car they were in crashed on Highway 281 in Johnson City.

Family members said the high school sweethearts were inseparable.

Shauna Johnson, Gomez's older sister said Kaila and Steven were on their way home from Lawton, Oklahoma where they had attended Steven's sister's graduation from boot camp. They were riding in a car driven by Steven's mother, Dana Byars.

Around 5:00 a.m. on June 30, as they drove through Johnson City, Byars swerved to miss something in the road causing the car to roll several times. The couple was ejected from the back seat and died. Oliver's mother, brother and best friend survived the crash.

"We were very proud of them, they had come a long way, and had been through a lot and they were about to enter the next stage in their life," Johnson said.

Just over a month ago, Gomez and Oliver gradated together from Judson High School.

Johnson said the couple met each other in middle school and began dating in 8th grade.

Shalamar Jenkins, Steven's older sister said Kaila moved in with the family about two years ago and was quickly accepted. She said they were inseparable.

"It wasn't Steven. It wasn't Kaila. It was Kaila and Steven. They weren't individuals. They were together all the time," Jenkins said.

According to the family, Gomez died at the scene of the accident. Steven died a short time later at an Austin hospital.

"I knew when they told me that Kaila had passed away and that Steven had seen that Kaila had passed away that he wasn't going to let her go he wasn't going to let her be by herself," Jenkins said.

Gomez was an honor student who helped other students in Judson's special education program. Oliver ran track and loved the sport of motocross.

Steven's big sister Kioriandra Oliver said she was proud of her little brother and had come to accept Gomez as her little sister. She is haunted by one of the last conversations she had with Steven at her boot camp graduation ceremony.

"He just kind of scooped me up in his arms and he told me that he loved me very much and that he's so proud of me. That he wants to be just like his big sisters," Oliver said.

While they are still in shock over the tragic accident, Shauna Johnson said she is able to find some comfort knowing her sister died with the young man she loved with all her heart.

"I think Kaila and Steven had every intention of getting married and being together forever and now they get to be together forever indefinitely," Johnson said. "It gives me some peace knowing that they're together. It also gives all of our families much peace to know they are together."

Funeral services for Kaila will be held Thursday evening and services for Steven will be held Friday.

On Saturday, friends and family plan to come together to hold a memorial service for both teens.

There's also a memorial page on Facebook.


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