3 Members Of Tulsa Family Killed In Car Crash


Tuesday, August 11th 2020, 9:43 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


TULSA, Okla. -

Three members of one family died in a car crash as they were coming home from a birthday party over the weekend.

A mother and two of the children died and the father and two other children survived. The rest of the family and their friends are devastated by the loss.

Troopers said this was likely just a horrible accident. The family is grieving the loss of three loved ones, they also hold on to their memories.

"It's a bad dream. We're hoping to wake up every minute," said family member Juan Cortez.

Three of the six family members died in a car crash.Troopers said dad Juan Cruz was driving west on the Cherokee Turnpike Sunday when he veered across the lane, overcorrected and hit a bridge near Locust Grove.

His wife Emilia and their 16-year-old son Juan, and 12-year-old son Rodrigo, died.

"She was the best mom ever and the best person ever," said Emilia's sister Yenni Cortez.

Yenni said Emilia impacted every single person she met.

She said Emilia survived cancer, worked hard, and loved her kids with her entire soul. Emilia's boss said she was a friend -- not just a co-worker.

"Emilia was loved by everybody," said Josephine Walden. "We're one big family, we're all so close."

16-year-old Juan was on the varsity football team at Union High School. His family said Juan loved history and politics, was brilliant, and his coach said Juan was a leader with a huge heart.

"He was always the first guy here, just waiting to come in, and a kid that truly loved his team," said coach Kirk Fridrich. "He loved being a part of the Union football program."

"He wanted to play for OU and he wanted to be a politician," Yenni said.

Family said Rodrigo, who was just 12, loved soccer and fishing, and was a quick learner and always smiling.

"He was always trying to find a quirky way to make you smile or laugh," Juan Cortez said.

11-year-old Ramon, 12-year old Valeria, and dad Juan are all expected to survive.

Meanwhile, family and friends cling to support they're getting from their Tulsa community.

"I'm so thankful to be in this position, to know so many amazing people that can help," Walden said.

"We feel the love," Yenni said.

The family is planning their funerals but don't have a date yet. If you would like to donate to support the family, you can visit this GoFundMe link.