A family had just had the time of their lives while vacationing at Walt Disney World, but they had no idea what was coming shortly after. On their way home to Columbus, the family’s SUV was hit by a suspected drunk driver going the wrong way on a West Virginia highway, and it ended up killing four of them.
NBC4I reported that early on Monday morning, Lizzie Crowell learned of the crash that took four of her family members, including two young children, ages 6 and 9.
“My grandson called me about 6:00 and said they had a good time. They had just gone through Savannah, Georgia and they’d be home around 2:30.”
From that point, Crowell never received another phone call as around 1:30 a.m., the crash happened.
Lt. Michael Baylous stated that 35-year-old Cory Sheward, of Tiffin, Ohio, was in his pickup truck and driving the wrong way on Interstate 77 in West Virginia. Baylous said that Sheward was driving south in the northbound lanes and collided head-on with the Crowell family’s SUV.
Sheward’s trunk crossed the highway median before traveling the wrong way on the highway for around two miles. Police have stated that “alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor.”
Eight people were inside the SUV at the time of the accident and four did end up dying: Carlisa Crowell, 29, Maxine Wade, 27, Tasha Freeman, 9, and Aubrey Willoubey, 6. There were four others in the vehicle, and they all suffered injuries as well.
Lizzie Crowell said that she finds it hard to be angry with Sheward even though his actions killed four members of her family and injured four others. She actually feels bad for him and prays for him due to what is going to end up coming.
“I got to pray for this man. Because when he wakes up and finds out what he done did, he has a spiritual price to pay.”
According to Dispatch, the surviving family members are absolutely devastated and don’t really know what to do. They are simply trying to figure out where to go from here and how to move on. Malinda Williams spoke on behalf of the family and said that “this is a difficult and hurting time.”
Williams is in Charleston, West Virginia, and visiting all of the hospital rooms of those currently there due to their injuries.
The family had just traveled to Florida with a number of other family members for the Easter holiday weekend. Photos and videos were posted on social media that showed the children having fun on Daytona Beach and also wearing Mickey Mouse ears while enjoying Walt Disney World.
Lt. Michael Baylous did say that no one in the fatal crash was wearing a seatbelt, and none of the children were in safety seats.
“I don’t know if sometimes people get that false sense of security being in a bigger vehicle.”
The members of Lizzie Crowell’s family that traveled to Walt Disney World and lost their lives on the way home is tragic. It is one that the family must try to make their way through and see how they can move on after a suspected drunk driver hit the family’s SUV and claimed the lives of four in West Virginia.
[Image via Mark Makela]