Friends of family killed in Peoria car crash say another child has died from injuries
PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Friends of the family who lost their lives in a car crash Sunday night say a second child has died. The crash killed two parents and a 14-year-old girl. The child was fighting for her life in the hospital but was later taken off life support.
On Nov. 20, around 9 p.m., Elizabeth Simpson of Glendale, 36, was driving her fiancé Jace Hochstetler of Phoenix, 31, in a Mazda van with her three children and Hochstetler’s daughter in the back seats. Police say a Jeep SUV was heading south on 107th Avenue when it crashed into the van that was turning left from Lone Cactus Drive, just south of Deer Valley Road. Simpson and Hochstetler died on the scene while the four children were taken to a nearby hospital. Simpson’s daughter, Harley, later died from her injuries at the hospital.
“It comes in waves. For the most part, I try to be strong for my best friend and my little girl,” said Brandon Ballard of his friend Chad Simpson, Elizabeth’s ex-husband. “He’s having a hard time. The first few days, it was hard to talk to him because he was so hurt by everything.”
Ballard says the couple and kids were heading home from a Friendsgiving on Sunday night. Police say their van was turning left, out of the neighborhood, when the SUV slammed into them. Detectives are looking at possible impairment and speed as factors in the crash. The driver of the SUV was not seriously injured.
Friends of the family say the other two kids are in the hospital— the baby, Cruz, is OK, but 10-year-old Cash is in serious condition. “I want to know more about what’s going on,” Ballard says. “Whether that’s drugs or alcohol involved. I just want more information about that.”
If you would like to help, Ballard has set up a gofundme page to help the family with funeral and medical expenses.
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