CONVERSE, Texas – A family in Converse is making funeral arrangements for five family members, including three children, who died in a weekend crash south of Houston.
“They were in the car together. They all went to heaven together,” said Bernetta White, the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of “those beautiful souls.”
She said they made up three generations of their extended family that stretches from coast-to-coast. White said little is known about what happened, only that a pickup truck veered into the victims' car in the rainstorm Saturday afternoon, forcing them off the road.
Pending further investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sgt. Stephen Woodard has said, “The cause of the crash appears to be the weather,” and perhaps the truck may have been traveling too fast for the rainy conditions.
White said she feels compassion for the driver who survived, but must now live with the fact five people died that afternoon.
White said with the Fourth of July weekend ahead, she urges others to be very safe on the road.
“Don’t cause this kind of pain on anybody else,” she said.
White said her daughter Jamica, 39, and her son-in-law Clay Ayala, 43, were killed, along with their 2year-old grandson Dondre, and her two grandsons, Demaurie, 8, and Tommie, 5.
Their mother, Marilyn Scott, said, “I still just don’t want to believe it.”
Scott said she expects the terrible impact of their deaths will hit her once their bodies are returned to Converse for burial.
The family said they are making funeral arrangements for all five so they can be buried together.
Scott said when her mother called her with the tragic news, “I wanted to call the state troopers. I was like, it’s not true. It can’t be true.”
She said everybody loved her two little boys who were “awesome.”
Scott had just dropped them off in West Columbia and they were heading to her oldest sister’s home in Angleton for their annual weeklong visit when the crash occurred.
“Never in a million years did I think that would be the last time I would hug and kiss my babies,” she said.
“I’ve always been taught not to question God, but right now, it’s really hard, because I just want to know why,” Scott said. Still she said her faith sustains her and her mother.
“I break down, but I have joy and I believe in the Lord,” White said. “We want them back, but where they’re at, they don’t want to come back.”
Known also as “Miss B,” White said the memories they shared will carry her through her grief.
“It’ll never go away but it will lighten up,” White said. “With each tear, there’s going to be a smile because of the memories.”
White said they just had their family reunion last weekend.
“The kids went swimming, and we ate and we laughed and we danced and we sang,” she recalled.
While the five will never be replaced, “But I have peace. I know their souls are at rest,” White said.
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