Two parents, three children killed on road trip to Disney World; Teen driver survives

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MONROE, Louisiana (KDAF) --It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime to the happiest place on earth.

But police say the Terrell family never made it to Disney World, instead five of the eight passengers riding in their SUV were killed in a rollover accident in Louisiana.

Michael and Trudi Hardman, both elementary school teachers in Texas, 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.

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9 comments

  • kaitlin

    Sad, but this is what you get when you have a 16 year old driver. 21 should be the minimum age to drive. I remember how many foolish risks I took when I was behind the wheel as a teen – I am so lucky I never crashed and killed someone. When you are that young you simply don’t know any better.

  • JACQUE

    All of you who repetedly say negative and stupid remarks after the loss of a life are so inconsiderate!!! Get out of here! this is why this world is so full of ignorant people like you!! so closed minded, you all must be REPUBLICANS! Always have something NEGATIVE to bring into the life of others. Go back and sit on your couch and play on your computer visitng all online chats.. That is your life isn’t it???? LOOSERS! This family needs prayers and love.. Better yet, They already have it from the lord. May they all rest in peace.

    • Lyn

      Jacque – How in the world did this become a political issue for you? That was so far out in left field that it didn’t even make sense. Also, losers only has one ‘o’.

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