Survivor Recalls Multiple Fatality - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/20/07 - Nacogdoches

Survivor Recalls Multiple Fatality

by Donna McCollum

" We topped the hill and the other car was coming up the hill and they came sliding at us. The police said they lost control of the car and hit us." Amber Pierce recalls the Friday afternoon accident that claimed the lives of three teenagers.   Then Monday,  Amber's eight year old niece, Mindy Smith died at a Dallas hospital. Mindy's mother, Tina Smith is recovering from her injuries and is now watching over her 4 year old son, John Austin smith in Dallas.   The children's aunt was also hurt in the accident along with her 2-year-old daughter.  

Amber, now out of ICU, recovers from a shattered elbow and a broken leg and pelvis. Yet her real pain is the memory of Friday afternoon.    " I couldn't hear Mindy. Mindy, I guess, she went into a coma when she hit her head. My daughter was crying. John Austin was kinda crying.   I got Mindy out and handed her to somebody, but I couldn't reach my daughter. I did feel helpless. "

The 25 year old mother receives updates on her daughter and nephew's condition by phone. Destany is refusing to eat or drink. A feeding tube is necessary. John Austin is paralyzed from the waist down.

Before the accident, it was a fun spring break afternoon. Amber recalled,   "Destany played with the Elmo toy, that's my little girl and mindy got her police cuffs and stuff like that. She wanted to be a police officer for the day. And John Austin got him a ball." More toys for the children sit by Amber's bed. She's wanting her baby. She mourns the loss of an 8 year old niece, along with the three teenagers in the other car, Sarah Felts, 17, of Hemphill, Sarah Adame, 17, of Shelbyville and Sara Click, 16, of Pineland.  
Amber said, " It's sad that they lost their lives. We're not angry with none of them about it. We're not angry with the families. It's just a tragic accident."

A cousin is at amber's bedside. Following the accident, Chris Lee sought support from his best friend. Little did he know that friend's sister was one of the teens who died in the accident. Lee said, " It was really hard seeing my little cousins was hurt in this and people I have grown up with, but when I get home to talk to my friend and it turns out his family was in it too. It's really disturbing."

In Dallas, Linda Roberts supports her two daughters, mourns the death of a grandchild and prays that two other grandchildren will survive. Her encouragement comes in the form of sound advice. Roberts said, " People, please when you're out on the road be careful. Think about when you leave your home, think about saying you love your family because you may never see them again."    

The cities of San Augustine and center are coming to the support of the Smith and Pierce families. Medical expense accounts are now set up in each town and San Augustine classmates of Mindy Smith have drawn cards for the family. Mindy's funeral arrangements have not been finalized yet.

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