Woman Speaks Out on Fatal Accident Killing Three Generations of Family

Woman Speaks Out on Fatal Accident Killing Three Generations of Family

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

WARD COUNTY - You can call it intuition, or having a bad feeling. Whatever it was, Krystal Woodruff knew something was wrong.

"They were not responding to phones and they weren't answering text messages and that's not like them," she said.

That's when Krystal started calling authorities and eventually found out her family had been in a fatal accident.

"I lost it. I didn't want to believe it and then I found out my other daughter was flown to Lubbock and in Pediatric ICU, and me and my cousins just got in the car and we took off here to Lubbock last (Saturday) night," she said.

The family lives in Howard County, but Saturday afternoon, they were on their way back from a family funeral in Marfa when disaster struck again. A pickup ran a stop sign and crashed into theirs, killing some, and seriously injuring others.

"They say my brother and my mom died instantly and they're not sure about my daughter," Krystal said.

Her mother, Diana Herrera, brother, Anthony Herrera and seven year old daughter, Kiana Woodruff have died.  

Krystal's sister in law, Veronica, and her younger daughter, Malayha, are in critical condition in Lubbock. She said Veronica has a broken rib and has had to get surgery on her leg while her five year old daughter has a fractured skull, among other injuries.

"She had to have a bladder and intestine repair from the seat belt. It like ruptured her bladder so they had to go in and repair that," Krystal said, adding that she's on a ventilator because doctors don't want her breathing on her own just yet.

They told Krystal that they can't determine yet if the girls will be out of danger.

"It's a day-to-day thing; the first 72 hours are crucial to the recovery," Krystal explained.

Krystal has been at the hospital trying to deal with the loss of three generations of family.

"I have my moments when I break down and other ones when I'm in shock. I haven't slept," she said.

But she's clinging on to hope.

"I know my baby's gonna be okay. She's my little fighter," she said.

Krystal said her elder daughter, Kiana, was always a happy kid who especially loved being a Girl Scout.

"You'd see her outside of Walmart and she was a little hustler. She would ask you ten times until you bought cookies from her," she remembered.

Kiana was a little blend of all of them. She would stay up at nights to read the bible and pray with her mother, took after her grandmother, Diana, who Krystal said was a strong, hardworking woman and a girl scout leader. This year, she was getting ready to start playing softball, just like her uncle, Anthony, used to.  

"He always had a smile on his face and everybody who knew him, loved him, because he was just that type of person," Krystal said.

Even though she's lost so much, Krystal's just asking for people to pray for her family.

"I'm just not ready to bury them but I know it's gonna happen," she said.

The family is trying to set up some donation booths and fundraisers around Big Spring and elsewhere to help with medical bills and funeral costs.