Family remembers mother of two killed in head-on collision

The family were on their way to Walmart when the crash happened

The family of a mother of two killed in a head-on crash is urging drivers to be extra careful when on the roadways.

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas – The family of a mother of two killed in a head-on crash is urging drivers to be extra careful when on the roadways.

Kayla Maughan, 27, was killed when she, her husband, her two-year-old son and her three-year-old daughter were on their way to Walmart in Fredericksburg.

The family was in their minivan along State Highway 16 South when a pickup truck crashed head-on into them.

An image of the crash was captured by Joe Southern at the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.

The collision was so strong that it killed both Maughan and the pickup driver, who Fredericksburg police have identified as David Rodriguez, 38.

“Nobody had heard from her,” said Stormy Boner Batts, Maughan’s first cousin. “She always answers her phone no matter what. Her sister was heading home around 10:30 and drove up on the accident and the traffic, not knowing it was her sister. So 11 comes around, and my aunt is saying, ‘I know that is Kayla.’ She said she felt it. Her sister was trying to calm her down by calling the police herself, and that is when they told her it was her sister.”

Batts said the news devastated her.

“My mom is the heart of our family,” she said. “So her sister called my mom first, and my mom called me and said, ‘Kayla Danay was killed in an accident.’ I said, ‘What!’ She said, ‘Kayla Danay was killed in a head-on collision tonight, and her babies were life-flighted.’ I immediately got up without thought and ran to my husband -- I couldn’t breathe.”

Maughan is remembered as a sweet and gentle soul in her large family.

“She was an incredible, amazing, intelligent woman,” Batts said. “She had a fire in her that was indescribable. When her husband and her children came into her life, the light in her lit up, and you could just watch her blossom.”

She said Maughan was a big family woman, loved to read and was funny with her strict attention to detail.

“She had severe OCD, and we used to just crack up about it,” Batts said with a laugh. “It was the little things, like numbers or different sayings or colors in order. She would say, ‘No, we can’t do that. That’s not an even number. The money wasn’t turned the right way.’ Just little things like that she was hilarious about.”

Batts said Maughan also helped with her firstborn child.

“She was my right-hand man when I got pregnant with my first child,” Batts said. “She was like my baby daddy because the man wasn’t in the life. She was like, ‘I have seen every ounce of you, whether I wanted to or not, that I should have just delivered you!’”

Batts said this entire situation is a nightmare.

Fortunately, Maughan’s husband and young children survived the crash. However, they had major injuries.

“The boy has bruises, but I picked him up from the hospital,” Batts said. “When I took him home, he went to the back room, and you can tell he sensed something. He sat on the floor and whimpered, and then when I opened the door for him. He just went in and laid down. He didn’t want the light on or anything.”

Maughan’s daughter has two broken legs and had to have a blood transfusion. Her husband is in bad shape as well.

“He is awake today,” Batts said. “He has lacerations, and his face is very beaten up. He already went through a six-, seven-hour surgery and has many surgeries to go. All four of his extremities are broken in multiple places. He has a hole in his lung and a shattered hip. He found out about Maughan when he woke up out of an induced coma. He just said, ‘Why did it have to be her? Why couldn’t it have been me?’ So he is not doing too well about it.”

Fredericksburg police say Rodriguez was driving with his headlights off at the time of the crash.

“Maybe if his lights were on, they could have saw it and tried to avoid it, but they didn’t even have that option,” Batts said.

Police said alcohol might have contributed to the crash, but they have not officially determined if that was the case.

Nevertheless, the family is raising awareness about drunk driving.

“Innocent families’ lives are involved with drinking and driving, and every time you decide to pour alcohol down your throat, it is mind-altering, and you take that chance of robbing an innocent person and friends and family and loved ones of their life,” Batts said. “It is not worth it at all. We can’t get her life back.”

While the family tries to pick up the pieces, they are raising funds to afford funeral and medical expenses. For more information, call 830-890-1057.

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.