Deadly Turnpike Crash Leaves Many Dealing With Grief

Monday, June 29th 2009, 10:01 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

UNDATED -- Missouri hospital officials say a 12-year-old girl injured in that accident is getting better.  Her parents and eight others were killed.  The victims of the crash are from Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma.

The massive wreck touched lives from Phoenix, Arizona to Frisco, Texas.  Witnesses share harrowing tales of those pinned, injured, pleading for help.

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"But, their grandmother, or mother, or whatever, was still stuck, and she kept saying I'm going to die, I'm going to die, and a gentleman was just holding her hand, saying you keep talking to me, they're going to be here any minute. They'll get you out; they'll get you out," said crash victim Larry Smith.                      

Firefighters did their best to free those trapped.  And, paramedics rushed patients by air and ambulance to try to save lives, but 10 people died in what's being called the deadliest wreck in Oklahoma history.

"I'm still in shock.  I can't even process this yet," said Robin Bellemore of Texas whose neighbor was killed.

Robin Bellemore lives next door to the Hayes Family.  Scott Hayes, 38, and his 7-year-old son died at the accident scene.  It took rescuers two hours to pry Shelby Hayes out of the wreckage, she died Sunday morning.  Shelby's mother, Cynthia Olson, was also killed in the crash.

"They loved Ethan. Oh my gosh, they were always out playing with him. He was out there riding his little tricycle, walking him to school.  Oh my gosh," said neighbor Robin Bellemore.

The tragedy also touched an Oklahoma City family.  Oral, Earlene, Antonio, and Dione Hooks were all killed.

A girl from Phoenix, 12-year-old Andrea Reyes, survived the crash, but she'll have to learn to survive without her parents.  Ricardo and Ernestina Reyes died on the turnpike.

Andrea's listed in fair condition at a Kansas City children's hospital.