Three Louisiana siblings were killed in a horrific wrong-way Louisiana highway crash their family says was caused by an ‘intoxicated’ driver.
Lindy Simmons, 20, Christopher Simmons, 17, and Kamryn Simmons, 15, of Jeanerette, Louisiana, died in the December 17 crash on Interstate 49 near St. Landry Parish.
Their older sister, Katie DeRouen, shared in a GoFundMe page how the deaths have shattered the family.
‘I don’t know how to start or where to begin,’ DeRouen, 31, wrote on Sunday. ‘Their Christmas gifts are still wrapped under the tree waiting for them.
‘Our lives are shattered.’
The victims, their mother Dawn, 57, and Christopher’s girlfriend Marissa, 16, were returning from his basketball game at Acadiana Christian School in Monroe when they were struck by an ‘intoxicated’ driver around 9pm, the GoFundMe said.
Lindy, 20, (right), Christopher, 17, (middle), and Kamryn, 15 (left) were killed in a car crash near St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, an hour away from Baton Rouge
The pickup truck driver John Lundy, 54, of Dallas, Georgia, was also killed. Police have not yet determined whether he was intoxicated.
He and Lindy, a Nicholls State University student and school photographer – who was driving the family car – were killed on impact.
Kamryn, who was described as the ‘sweetest person on earth’ and Christopher – who was described as ‘mom’s angel child’ and planned to keep retaking his ACT until he got a score of 32 – were taken to separate hospitals, where they later succumbed to their injuries and were identified by DeRouen.
Her father Ray Simmons, 58, texted DeRouen after the crash, writing: ‘Mom got in a wreck. It’s not looking good, but she’s stable.’
DeRouen, who lives a few towns over in New Iberia, ‘flew’ to Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) to meet her brother Shea, 30, and dad.
Their mother arrived to hospital ‘confused with a bleeding spleen, a punctured lung and two broken ankles.’ She also has a lacerated carotid artery.
Unsure about the status of her siblings, DeRouen began calling ‘every hospital we could think of to locate them.’ Her siblings had not been identified by police when they were rushed off to the hospital, making it harder for them to be located.
Their mother Dawn (pictured) was seriously injured in the crash, but survived. She suffered a bleeding spleen – which is no longer functioning – a punctured lung, two broken ankles, and a lacerated carotid artery
Dawn was told on Monday that her three children died in the crash (pictured L-R: Christopher, Dawn, and Kamryn)
Their sister Katie DeRouen (pictured) said she felt like she drove ’97 million hours’ to three hospitals to identify her siblings
‘None of my siblings were at LGMC, where my mom was, and we called every hospital we could think of to locate them,’ she wrote. ‘What we didn’t realize was, the hospitals that had taken them in did not know who they were, therefore their names were not showing up [in the system].’
After her father received a call from a state trooper to tell them the ‘young blonde that was driving’ did not survive, he informed the family the other siblings may have been taken to Opelousas General hospital – an almost 40-minute drive away.
When DeRouen called on her way there, the operator told her that none of her sibling’s names were in the system, but there was ‘someone from a car accident if I wanted to come and identify them.’
To her disbelief, she found Kamryn at Opelousas General.
‘I expected to walk into one of my siblings in the hospital bed, bruised and banged up, but alive,’ Katie wrote. ‘We eventually were led to the room where they unzipped my sweet baby sister’s body bag and revealed to me her perfect face. “Yes, that’s Kamryn.”‘
The Simmons family was a clan on nine siblings (pictured 8 siblings: Christopher and Kamryn (front row), Lindy (second row, right), Katie and Shea (third row, middle and right)
The nurse later told relatives that Christopher was taken to Bunkie General – another 40-minute drive away.
DeRouen, who was relieved at hints her brother was alive, was given the heartbreaking news that her brother did not survive and she would have to travel to another hospital to identify his body.
She said she felt like she drove ’97 million hours’ to the hospital.
‘There are no words to explain that moment,’ she wrote.
The nurse also informed DeRouen that her sister Lindy’s body was still at the scene as officers were ‘unable to extract her from the vehicle.’
‘And just like that, we went from one sibling [who] didn’t make it, to all three of them not making it.
‘I have never, in my life, experienced more pain than in that moment. Everyone at the hospital was so kind, but nothing took away the pain that was bruising in my heart. The three babies of the family are gone.
‘We went from our “big family of nine kids” to six kids in the blink of an eye. I don’t know how we will ever move on or recover from this.
‘We are crushed. We are empty. We are devastated. We are in disbelief. We are hurting. We don’t know how we will ever find joy in anything again,’ she wrote.
‘Please don’t drive drunk, you can’t imagine the impact you make on others’ lives by that foolish decision,’ she wrote in all caps.
Lindy (pictured) was a student at Nicholls State University and the school photographer She is the fourth Nicholls student to die in a fatal crash this month
Lindy is the fourth Nicholls student to die in a fatal crash this month
Kamryn (right) was described by her family as the ‘sweetest person on earth.’ This photo was taken at an unknown time
Christopher (pictured with his driver’s license) played basketball at Acadiana Christian School, where the family was returning home after a winning game. His girlfriend Marissa who was also in the car, had surgery on her femur and is recovering in hospital
Christopher (pictured, left, with his older brother Shea, right) was described as ‘mom’s little angel’ and was planning on taking the ACT until he got a score of 32
Their brother Shea, who spoke to KTVE, said: ‘You just never know when someone’s last time is, so you know, just try to remember that life is precious. We really never know when it’s our time and to just try to not take things for granted.’
Their mother is ‘still in a lot of pain.’
‘The pain is mostly coming from her ribs and how painful it is to breathe. She has multiple fractured ribs and a fractured sternum,’ Katie’s cousin Ross wrote in an update on her behalf.
Dawn has undergone at least two procedures to stop her spleen – which is no longer functioning – from bleeding and on one ankle, and more surgeries are expected.
‘In good news, the surgeon told the family that ‘she looks great and [is] stable enough to be out of ICU soon.’
The family planned on telling Dawn about the death of her three children after she left the ICU, but unfortunately had to tell her sooner.
Brother Shea (pictured) and their father Ray met his sister Katie DeRouen at LGMC on December 17 after the crash. He told KTVE: ‘You just never know when someone’s last time is, so you know, just try to remember that life is precious’
‘The second she saw Katie in the ICU, she immediately started asking questions knowing Katie wouldn’t lie to her,’ Ross wrote in the update. ‘She asked how bad were her babies’ injuries. Katie’s eyes just welled with tears, but her mom continued to ask, “Tell me… How bad is it?” Katie knew it was time and couldn’t put it off any longer.’
Katie has since updated on her Facebook page that she ‘got her momma back.’
‘She was completely herself. She is still in a bind with her broken ankles, ribs and sternum but SHE is back. She was so alert. We laughed, then cried, then laughed,’ she wrote on Facebook.
Christopher’s girlfriend Marissa also had surgery on her femur and is healing at LGMC.
There was a vigil held for the three siblings on December 19 to honor their lives.
The GoFundMe raised $464,090 out of its $500,000 goal as of Tuesday.
The Louisiana State Police is investigating the crash and is awaiting toxicology reports from both Lundy and Lindy.
Police said it was 61st deadly crash the department has investigated this year including three others involving Nicholls State University students.
DailyMail.com has contacted Katie DeRouen, the Louisiana State Police, and Nicholls State University for comment.