ELLSWORTH, Kan. (CBS4) – CBS 4 has new information on heart-wrenching cellphone video from Kansas, showing a fiery crash that killed four members of an Aurora family.
State troopers say a husband, wife and two of their grandchildren died. Their third grandson was rescued and survived.
“I’m just distraught,” Chris Lopez said, who is a friend of the family.
Grief consumes Lopez.
“Just an immense sense of loss,” Lopez said. “He was such a great man, and a great member of the community. He sacrificed everything to raise his grandkids. Both him and his wife were just lovely, lovely people.”
Cellphone video shows the burned wreckage after Lopez’s best friend and neighbor Kevin Dorrell smashed into a parked semi on Interstate 70 near Ellsworth, Kan.
Dorrell and his wife Debra, and their two grandchildren, 15-year-old Justin Turner and 11-year-old Joe Turner, were killed.
Their third grandson, 9-year-old Jonah, survived.
“Somebody pulled him out, and the other ones were practically unrecognizable,” Lopez said.
It’s not clear why the family’s SUV veered off the highway, but Kansas troopers say they weren’t wearing seatbelts.
“We were just going to spend the summer together down at Elitches,” Lopez said. “We were going to go with their kids and the parents. All of us were going to go together.”
For Lopez, losing his best friend and new memories is just too much to bear.
“It’s overwhelming and it’s surreal,” Lopez said. “His life revolved around those kids.”
The grandchild rescued is still listed in critical condition. CBS4’s Heather Burke talked to the family over the phone, but they were too shaken up about the incident to talk on camera.
- Written by Heather Burke