Sisters killed in Grand Prairie crash

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 1:03 PM

Fatal crash

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GRAND PRAIRIE — Two sisters — ages 12 and 13 — were killed,  and two other siblings were injured Sunday afternoon when a truck crashed into their car on Interstate 30 in Grand Prairie.

The 2004 Dodge Stratus sedan had stalled on the left side of the road in the westbound lanes near Highway 161 when it was rear-ended by a pickup truck just before 2 p.m.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office identified the dead girls as 12-year-old Maria Gonzalez-Refugio and 13-year-old Dianna Gonzalez-Refugio.

The other children in the car — Jesus Gonzalez, 6, and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, 10 — were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. Jesus Gonzalez is in very critical condition, while Maria de Jesus Gonzalez is in critical condition Monday.

Their mother, and the driver of the Dodge, 31-year-old Maria Francisca Vasquez of Irving, received minor injuries. Her husband, Juan Gonzalez, 34, got out of the car and was attempting to alert other motorists when the crash occurred.

Police said the driver of the Ford F-150 pickup truck, 30-year-old Justin Beavers of North Richland Hills, was likely traveling around the speed limit and simply didn't see the car that had stalled in the left lane.

"The driver of the truck told us that he was in the center lane and was moving to the left lane, and when he did so, he did it at the same time that he came upon that car," said Grand Prairie police spokesman Sgt. Eric Hansen. "When he went from the center lane to the left lane, the car was right there in front of him, and he didn't have any time to react."

Beavers was not injured in the crash.

It was not clear whether the children had been wearing seat belts, but investigators said a six-year-old boy was not in a booster seat as required by state law. The Dodge Stratus has a listed seating capacity of five; there were two adults and four children in the car.

Westbound traffic on Interstate 30 was backed up for miles while the injured were being helped and the accident was being investigated.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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