Oklahoma family mourning after 17-month-old dies in head-on crash

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GERONIMO, Okla. -  A family is grieving after a surprise visit to a grandparent's house took a tragic turn.

Rose Ann and Jose Johnson spent Christmas at OU Medical Center caring for their daughter, Cheyenne, and mourning the loss of their only grandson, 17-month-old Dallas.

Cheyenne, Dallas, and his cousin, Deangelo, were on their way from Arlington, Texas to Weatherford, Oklahoma to surprise the Johnsons for Christmas.

"She knew he wanted to see him. We loved Dallas so much," Rose Ann said. "She always calls me first to let me know that she's on her way. She always wants to surprise dad."

When Rose Ann told Jose, he said it made his day.

"I remember rushing home because I wanted to, I just wanted to be able to hold him and kiss him," Jose said.

But Cheyenne didn't arrive at the home when expected.

"When I didn't see the car in the driveway, I was like, maybe they hid the car in the garage and they're going to surprise me," Jose said.

Rose Ann tried calling Cheyenne, but reached a doctor instead of her daughter.

The three were involved in a head-on collision south of Lawton, near Geronimo. A passenger in the other vehicle was also pronounced dead at the hospital.

Cheyenne, Dallas, and Deangelo were all taken to different hospitals.

"'Dallas was in a really bad accident,'" Rose Ann remembers the doctor saying. "'He was too small and he just, the impact was too much for his little head and body and he just, he just didn't make it.'"

Cheyenne and Deangelo suffered serious injuries. Cheyenne is still recovering at OU Medical Center, while Deangelo is staving off infection from internal bleeding at a hospital in Dallas.

The grandparents rushed to their grandson's side, arriving just in time.

"We were able to hold his little hand when he had his last heartbeats," Rose Ann said.

"He looked like nothing happened to him, he was just so peaceful," Jose said. "I wanted to reach over and open his eyes just to see his face look at me one more time. I couldn't move. It was the worst feeling."

Doctors warned the two not to tell their daughter until she was more stable, keeping her son's death a secret for a couple of days.

"She was asking us over and over how the baby was and for over a day we had to look at her knowing," Jose said.

The Johnsons said they're grateful to friends and family who have shown up with encouraging words and gestures of kindness.

Now, the family is banding together with their faith to figure out how to move forward from this tragedy.

"We're never going to get over it. We're never going to forget it. It's just something we're going to have to deal with," Jose said. "It's going to be a day-by-day process until we can get closer to what's normal."

Loved ones set up GoFundMe account to help the family with medical and funeral costs for baby Dallas.

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