LEESBURG, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A grandmother is mourning the loss of four grand-kids, all killed in a Memorial Day crash on Interstate 95.
Glenda Wright held back the tears, as she talked about the the tragic loss. She said she received a phone call from her daughter, Latorya Brown, Monday night while she was sleeping. "She was just hysterical, screaming. I knew something had happened. She was screaming, 'Mom, Mom, I need you Mom! My kids, they gone, they gone!' I just jumped up and thought it was a dream and realized it wasn't."
Wright said her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend took her five girls and his three nephews, as well as a cousin, to the beach. The kids ranged from three to 16 years in age. "It was a celebration for her birthday and her and all her kids together."
But as they were driving northbound on the interstate in a Dodge SUV, troopers said a tire suddenly went out and the vehicle veered out of control. "The mom had her tire blow out from the car, snd the truck flipped several times, and everyone was ejected out of the vehicle."
At that moment, Wright lost four out of five young granddaughters. The girls, Amunya, 15, Jazmin, 14, Niashia, 13, and Nadia, 10, all go by the last name of Cruz.
Each had their own unique personality, Wright explained. "Amunya, she had so many goals she set, she was doing so good. They was all doing so well in school. She was the oldest. And then Jazmin, she was always Jaz. She was in her own little world doing her own thing, and Niashia she was the middle girl she was separate, because she was the middle girl and then Nadia. Nadia, she was the most talkative one of all and she loved to talk and talk about everything."
Wright said Shakara, 9, somehow survived. "And Shakara, she's the baby girl; she's the only one that survived, and she's the strongest of them all."
Wright said her daughter's boyfriend and his nephews were okay. Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said 3-year-old Keshaen Walker was found on the other side of a barrier wall, having been ejected from the SUV and sent 20 feet into the air. "It was her boyfriend's nephews and everyone was ejected out of the vehicle, and they all survived. A couple of them had broken legs and other injuries but they survived."
Walker is still being treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital.
Wright said she is trying to plan funerals for her four granddaughters and realizes it won't be easy. She said many have already reached out to help her. "If they want to make donations, they can make donations at any Wells Fargo in the country, under the 'Cruz Girls Memorial Fund.' We just want to ask everybody to continue to pray for us all, and they will truly be missed."