Deadly crash in El Centro orphans 7 children

Posted at 8:03 AM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 20:39:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Seven children are continuing to recover after a vehicle crash near El Centro that killed their parents.

10News learned the family from Lakeside were moving to Texas when their SUV crashed off Interstate 8 on the morning of May 11.

California Highway Patrol officials said the SUV apparently drifted off the road and onto a dirt shoulder near Dunaway Road. The driver tried to get back onto the roadway but lost control, causing the SUV and the trailer it was hauling to overturn.

According to the CHP, a man, woman and seven children inside the SUV were ejected; CHP officials said no one was restrained properly.

RELATED: 2 adults killed, 7 kids hurt in El Centro crash

The 42-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were declared dead at the scene, the CHP said. All seven children -- the oldest being a 12-year-old girl and the youngest a one-year-old boy -- were taken to area hospitals with undisclosed serious injuries.

Wellman Simmons, who manages the Silver Crest Apartments where the family last lived, showed 10News surveillance video of the family loading their trailer and leaving the complex.

Simmons told 10News he was worried that some of the tires on the SUV looked bald. He also thought one of the tires looked to be a spare.

10News was told the family was living at a homeless tent shelter in Golden Hill before moving into a unit at the Lakeside apartment complex just before Christmas.

Simmons said one of the kids mentioned they had moved 10 times in the last year and “she was tired of it.”

“The children were well-behaved. They were all going to school, they played with all the children,” Simmons said.

Simmons told 10News the family was asked to leave the Silver Crest Apartments, but he could not say why.

The children's grandmother started a GoFundMe to pay for burial expenses.