MONROE, La (CBS Tampa) – Tragedy struck Wednesday night when a Terrell, Texas family lost both parents and three children during a road trip to Florida’s Disney World, the CW 33 reports.
Elementary school teachers and parents Michael and Trudi Hardman died along with three of their children after their 16-year-old son struck a median, causing the family’s SUV to roll over.
According to Louisiana State Police, six of the passengers — including a 4 year-old, 7-year-old, and 15-year-old — weren’t wearing seatbelts, causing them to be ejected from the vehicle.
Each of those six passengers was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 16-year-old driver, along with two other children, survived.
“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.”
Back in their hometown of Terrell and neighboring Wills Point, people are shocked and saddened by the news.
“One of these 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, Principal at Wills Point High School said. “The kids were a tremendous blow, but just an entire family was a tremendous, tremendous blow for us.”
Wills Point ISD also released the following statement: “Words cannot express the sadness in our hearts today … Please keep the family and their friends in your thoughts and prayers.”