A Missouri family was involved in a crash that killed both parents and seriously injured their two daughters while wrapping up their first-ever Walt Disney World vacation, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.
Greg and Sarah Moyers of Leadwood, Missouri, and their two daughters, Hailey, 13, and Sophia, 8, had never been on a proper vacation. But Greg, the owner of a muffler shop, and Sarah, who had been a manager at McDonald’s, saved up their money for several months to afford a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to the Orlando area.
The family had driven down to Florida last week and hit the major Orlando attractions — Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida. On Sunday afternoon, they were on the last leg of their vacation. Before heading home, they were driving from Orlando to the coast in order to see the ocean for the first time.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, as the family was driving east on Interstate 4 in their 2007 Nissan near the town of DeLand, another vehicle, a 2016 Ford Focus, drifted into their lane, forcing them off the road. The vehicle hit a tree, killing both parents instantly.
According to St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK, crews worked for over an hour to rescue the two children from the back of the car. They were taken to a nearby hospital, Hailey with serious injuries and Sophia with critical injuries.
The Daily Journal says that everyone in the Moyers’ vehicle was wearing their seat belts.
The driver of the other vehicle, 43-year-old Charles King of New London, North Carolina, was not injured.
Family friend Loni Burnside Eaton said that friends of relatives of the girls were on their way to Florida to tell the kids that their parents had died.
“The girls don’t know what happened to them [their parents] yet. Everyone is on their way down there and that’s when they’ll tell them. It’s just devastating.”
Eaton describes the Moyers as a loving and giving family who always tried to help others. The family had been raising a total of five kids, including two children of Sarah’s sister that the family took in.
“Their kids were their world. They were very involved and supportive parents and just wanted the best for them. They wanted the girls to experience Disney and the beach. I can’t believe this really happened.”
Back in Leadwood, a small mining town about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis, neighbors describe the family as a central part of the community. Greg and his family hosted community cookouts at the muffler shop, and Sarah’s stepmother, Cheryl Neeley, says they were well-loved around town.
“They just clicked when they met. They were amazing together. It’s going to leave a big void in our family and also in the community because everyone knew them and loved them.”
This is not the first unspeakable tragedy to happen to a family while on vacation at Walt Disney World. Earlier this summer, the world reacted with horror at the story of Lane Graves, a 2-year-old Nebraska boy who was killed by an alligator at Disney World. As the Inquisitr reported, on June 14, at about 8:30 p.m., the family was watching an outdoor movie near a lake at the upscale Grand Floridian Resort, when an alligator emerged from the water and snatched up the young boy. He later died from drowning and from the injuries he sustained in the attack.
The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash that killed and injured members of a Missouri family.
[Feature Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]