TRINITY, TX (KTRE) - The death of Journey Magness had a hard impact on the tight knit community of Trinity.
Magness died this morning after the Trinity ISD van she was riding in was hit from behind Thursday morning.
According to DPS, five children from the van were taken to a Trinity hospital by ambulance. Three other children in the van, as well as the driver, were taken by private vehicle to the ambulance for precautionary measures. Three of the injured children were treated and released, as of 11 a.m.
Three children from the other vehicle were also taken to a Trinity hospital, two by ambulance and one by private vehicle.
Chandra Wheeler, 55, of Trinity, was driving a 2015 Chevy Trinity ISD van eastbound on FM 1893 at 7:26 a.m., loaded with several children and had stopped to pick up a child when it was struck from behind by a 2008 Ford pickup, driven by Micah Brock, 17, of Trinity.
The truck with three passengers crashed into a fence, a DPS official said. Brock was not injured in the wreck.
Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said Brock told DPS she was blinded by the sunlight before she hit the van.
Magness was pronounced dead at ETMC Trinity by Justice of the Peace Hayne Huffman. Huffman is a life-long resident of Trinity and is a former Trinity board member. Huffman said the loss is affecting many in the small town.
"As close association as everyone has here in Trinity it is going to affect everyone," Huffman said. "It's just a tragedy. We've never had anything of this nature. To my knowledge, This is the first accident that ended in death."
The Magness name is a name familiar to many in the community. Magness was the daughter of Trinity County Deputy David Magness. Magness has served with Wallace since he took office four years ago.
"He's an excellent person," Wallace said. "He's a great deputy and a great father. Right now they are devastated. We are just trying to answer what questions we can and give them space."
Wallace said the entire sheriff's office is shook up. Wallace and others assisted DPS on scene before they realized Magness' daughter was involved.
"We are dealing with it as best we can," Wallace said. "It's a shock. it's tragic you know. There is a lot of emotion going right now."
Trinity Officer Tom Hester helped with security at the hospital as children were tended to. Hester said he began a prayer chain that has spread across the county. He has been praying all afternoon and now asks for the same from everyone else.
"I ask for peace; for strength and God's peace," Hester said. "It's always tough because somebody loves somebody that might get killed when there is a fatality. You know they are loved by somebody. It seems like when it is a child it makes it doubly hard."