Five people killed in car wreck, including toddler
HOT SPRING COUNTY (KATV) - Along a windy stretch of Highway 7 south of Lake Hamilton, Edgar Martinez's family took a turn for the worse.
Martinez and three others, including a 2-year-old boy, were killed in a three-car wreck after his car, traveling southbound, was hit by a Bismarck woman driving northbound at around 7pm.
According to the accident report, Eva Hernandez, 40, along with Jose Miguel Hernandez, 16 and Chris Anthony Rocha, 2, were killed in their Chevy truck that was struck by a Chevy Trailblazer driven by Brandy Kizziar, 36, who was also killed.
"I just started crying this morning," said Lacaro Ramos, a friend of Martinez and his family. "I talked to him yesterday."
Seven people total were involved in the crash 7.5 miles north of Bismarck.
A five-year-old traveling with Martinez survived and so did Glenda McLemore, 54, of Bismarck. McLemore rear-ended Martinez's Chevy after his vehicle was hit.
Martinez was a barn manager in Bismarck who oversaw chickens with his wife. He and his family lived and worked near the barns and Ramos says his family was always courteous to him.
"That's my friend gone already gone with his wife and his two boys," said Ramos. "I hope they're with Jesus right now."
Shortly after the crash, a retired firefighter was the first on the scene and immediately called 9-1-1.
"It was just a horrific sight," said Allen Denham, whose property is adjacent to where the wreck happened. "I went over there with my son and [one of the victims] was his friend's mom. It kind of got to both of us."
Denham said four of the victims did not show vital signs when he approached the scene with his 15-year-old son.
He witnessed a woman holding a baby and remained on scene until the ambulance arrived 20 minutes later, according to his estimate.
"I didn't sleep last night," said Denham, with his hands trembling. "I started to go to sleep and that's all I seen last night."
His property sits south of a dangerous turn on Highway 7 where Denham says cars generally pass each other too frequently.
"[My wife and I] both said it's going to be a bad accident out here one of these days," he said, overlooking the wreckage that remained. "It happened last night at 7 o'clock."
The accident report stated the victims wore seatbelts and speed was not listed as a factor.
It's a tragedy like many have never seen and Ramos can only pray for the families.
"I worry more for that little girl being in the hospital right now," said Ramos. "I hope she will get a future."
The girl's relatives are driving from Houston, according to Ramos, where they are expected to take in the young girl. She is recovering at Arkansas Children's Hospital.