The Nacogdoches, Texas, community is in mourning after a traffic accident left a teenager and her mother dead, and her 21-year-old brother critically injured.
The family had been celebrating a happy occasion – the girl's impending departure to study at Mississippi State – and was en route home when the accident occurred.
The family's 2019 Chevrolet TRAX was stopped in traffic on Interstate 20 near Winona when it was rear-ended. The mother was killed on impact, and her 18-year-old daughter died on the way to the hospital. The father suffered only minor injuries, and his son was airlifted to the hospital.
A statement released on behalf of the family said the other driver was "traveling at a high rate of speed" and failed to see the traffic that had slowed down ahead. The statement added: "The circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation and criminal charges are being pursued."
Police said it was a 21-year-old from Olla, Louisiana, who crashed into the family vehicle with his 2014 Ford F-150.
At Nacogdoches High School, from which the young woman graduated this year, counseling was being offered to students even before the start of the school year, and administrators said it would continue once school starts.
"Our condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of our student," school officials wrote on Facebook.
The criminal justice system will deal with the aftermath of the accident, should any charges be filed. In the meantime, what is important is seeing to it that this family's needs are met, physically, emotionally and financially. An attorney with experience in such cases can lay out the options.