PURCELL, Okla. – A fourth person has died from a deadly crash on I-35 that occurred earlier this week.
It happened Monday afternoon just before 3:30 p.m. at mile marker 91 in Purcell.
Erin Van Horn was driving a white 2014 GMC Yukon with six kids inside when she slammed into the back of a stopped semi truck at a high rate of speed.
“It was a significant crash. It was a high impact crash, high-speed,” said Trooper Dwight Durant, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “It looks like the semi was in the right hand lane at a stop. And, SUV comes up behind it and runs into the back of it.”
OHP troopers said their preliminary investigation does not show Van Horn took any sort of evasive action before hitting the semi.
Van Horn died as a result of the crash, along with her 10-year-old son, Zachary Van Horn, and 11-year-old Beck Kitterman.
Authorities say three 13-year-old girls were flown to OU Medical Center in critical condition after the accident.
“I have not got any first-hand medical reports on the condition of the other children involved. But, it’s my understanding that by no means is anybody out of the woods here,” Durant said.
On Wednesday morning, a family friend told KJRH that 13-year-old Lizzie Edwards died from injuries she sustained in the crash.
Family friends tell NewsChannel 4 Van Horn was returning home to Tulsa after an outing at Turner Falls.
Three of the kids in the vehicle were Van Horn’s and the other three were friends.
The kids attend school in Jenks.
“This is an incredibly difficult, difficult situation with no easy answers. And, our community is really hurting,” said Paula Lau, the Student Assistance Program Coordinator for Jenks Public Schools.
And, as the investigation into exactly how this happened continues, their community is trying to figure out the best way to deal with the pain of the immense loss.
“To have this many students involved is terrible. And, our hearts are just aching. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to in the last 24 hours who’ve said I’ve just been crying. I’ve been praying. I’m sorry. It’s a big deal,” Lau said.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the Edwards and Kitterman families.