Update: A 16-year-old driver was issued a misdemeanor traffic citation. Louisiana police say the teen feel asleep behind the wheel, ran off Interstate 20 and into a median. According to investigators, the teen driver over-corrected, which caused the car to flip. Six of the eight family members inside the vehicle were ejected; five died at the scene. Three people survived the accident, including the teen driver.
MONROE, LA – It’s a Disney trip gone deadly for one Terrell family.
Michael and Trudi Hardman, both elementary school teachers, were on their way to Disney World with their kids Wednesday night when the unthinkable happened. Louisiana State Troopers say five members of the family were killed when their SUV rolled over after striking a median.
"We talked to the 16-year-old driver, which lived -- he was properly restrained,” Michael Reichardt of Louisiana State Police said. “He said he fell asleep, when he went off of the road -- off to the left -- he veered back to the right and there was nothing he could do.”
Of the eight passengers, six passengers, who apparently weren’t wearing seatbelts, were ejected. Both parents and three of their children – ages 4, 7, and 15 – were pronounced dead at the scene.
"One of this kids that passed away was one of our students and one of them that survived was one of our students here at the high school,” Jim Lamb said. Lamb is the Principal at Wills Point High School. "The kids were a tremendous blow, but just an entire family was a tremendous, tremendous blow for us."
Three of the kids survived, including the 16-year-old driver.
Folks back in Terrell and Wills Point are reeling from the loss of two popular teachers and the three of their kids.
Wills Point ISD sent out a statement: “Words cannot express the sadness in our hearts today … Please keep the family and their friends in your thoughts and prayers.”
Sad to think it only took a split second for a trip that was supposed to be magical, to turn into a Thanksgiving tragedy.