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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In West Dallas, grief and anger collide after three siblings are killed at an intersection that neighbors say was dangerous for a long time.
Family members have confirmed that Lizbeth, 3, Brian, 6, and Pamela, 11, died in the crash that left an older sibling, 13-year-old Dulce hospitalized in critical condition. Their mother, Maricela Mendoza was released from the hospital earlier today… but, the magnitude of the loss is beyond comprehension.
Mendoza was ferrying the children to karate class Monday evening when she attempted to pull onto Singleton Avenue from Peoria Street. According to Dallas police, she had a clear intersection when she pulled forward to make the left turn. But, according to investigators, Xavier Mandell Taylor was speeding as he traveled west bound on Singleton and struck the left side of Mendoza’s vehicle with so much force that it pushed her vehicle into the opposite lanes of traffic.
Relatives say the children were all buckled in either car seats or seat belts. But, there was little that heartbroken onlookers could do.
“I didn’t want to get near,” says Luis Cerda, “but, I saw the children already laying in the road.” Cerda was at church just a few hundred yards from the intersection and witnessed the mad rush to help survivors. “There was one of them that they couldn’t get out of the car.”
He says visibility is even worse on weekends when patrons from a nearby lounge park along Singleton block the view of drivers needing to pull onto the busy street. He says speeding is also a problem and other neighbors readily agree.
“I’m doing like 40,” says James, a long time West Dallas resident, who didn’t want to give his last name. But, he complains that speeding vehicles “blow past like I’m sitting still… 80,90 miles per hour down through here.”
According to Dallas police, there was no evidence that Mr. Taylor was driving while impaired. He was taken to Methodist Central and treated for a broken ankle. A grand jury will determine if he should face criminal charges.
Meanwhile, a memorial at the intersection is already forming with stuffed animals, a toy truck and flowers. Lissett Bernon didn’t know the family. But, she brought white balloons anyway… saying she’s a Mom, so the loss touches her, too.
“This is the worst thing that could happen to a mother,” says Bernon, her voice breaking. “We don’t know the family. But, this is how the community feels right now … three lives … little lives… angels.”
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