Four Valley residents killed in Pleasanton wreck
Sun, 22 Aug 2010 04:22:56 GMT —
The accident happened yesterday around 6 p.m. on Highway I-37 near Pleasanton.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) state troopers said the group was traveling north in a 2002 Ford SUV when a tire blew out.
The driver 21-year-old Aaron Joseph Cruz of Harlingen lost control and the truck veered past the center median, onto both south-bound lanes and rolled over.
Cruz, 13-year-old Anissa Marie Salazar, 4-year-old Jonathan Cortez and 28-year-old Janette Ramirez all died instantly.
Investigators said all of them were from Harlingen except for Ramirez, who was was from Weslaco.
The other three people in the SUV were rushed to the hospital with serious bodily injuries.
State troopers identified them as 11-year-old Jesse Salazar, 9-year-old Jasmine Salazar, and 31-year-old Denise Cantu. All of them are from Harlignen.
The news traveled quickly to Cantu's neighbors in Harlingen who were deeply shaken up by the news.
"Our neighbor has lost two of her loved ones which are her children, Rosemary Lugo said. We're going to stick together as a community and be there for her. She's very young. "
DPS troopers could not confirm the relationship of Cantu with the two surviving children, but Lugo said the young mother had four children total.
"I used to pass by and I used to see her playing basketball with her kids at times, Lugo said. I thought that was so awesome of her taking time.
The children were getting ready to start a new school year, Lugo said.
Thirteen-year-old Aneica Salazar had even made the cheerleading squad.
"I ask the community, also you know Harlingen, to be there for her she's coming back to school," Lugo said. "We're going back to school and two of her kids will not be attending our school district this year and that's very tragic...even losing one child. Can you imagine losing two?"
Lugo said this tragedy also brought new light to the importance of wearing seatbelts.
"To begin with, it's the law, Lugo said. We've got to obey it. Seatbelts (are) very important."
Cantu remains hospitalized at Army Brooks Medical Center and the two children are at University Hospital.
State troopers said all are still in critical condition.