Police still investigating crash that killed four




Posted on December 28, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 5 at 4:10 PM

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SOUTHLAKE, Texas - Police in Southlake say they are continuing to investigate a weekend car accident that killed four when the vehicle crashed through a fence and hit a tree before landing upside down in a pond.

Southlake police Officer Roderick Page said Monday that accident investigators could take up to 10 days to finish a report on the Saturday crash. All four killed in the crash were Jehovah's Witnesses riding together to promote their faith.

Monty Hardy, 56, of Southlake and Hadassah Vance, 35, of Euless, died at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Grapevine on Saturday.

Wendy Akion, 38, of Irving and Sharon Ransom, 56, of Grapevine, died early Sunday morning at the same hospital.

The car all four were inside at the time of the crash was a 2008 Toyota Avalon, which was among the models recalled last month over concerns about gas pedals getting stuck on floor mats and causing sudden acceleration. Page said he does not know if the owner had taken the car in for repairs or adjustments.

Toyota recalled four million cars.

Investigators said the driver - Hardy - drowned, which challenged any theory he might have suffered an illness behind the wheel.

"She will be missed, and it is a bitter loss," said Judah Vance, Hadassah's brother.

Hadassah Vance was a single mother who worked at a title company. Family members described her as generous and hard working. She had recently bought her mother, Lue Jones, a car.

"Dad left us when they were teenagers," Jones said. "She said, 'Mom, you'll never have to work.' She kept that word as a teenager. She's a very giving person."

"If there was a core to this family, she was the core," said Benjamin Vance, Hadassah's brother. "So, the core is gone."

WFAA-TV's Jonathan Betz contributed to this report