TENAHA, TX (KLTV) - Three children were waiting for the bus around 7:20 Tuesday morning on Highway 84, just a mile or two east of the town of Tenaha, which is south of Carthage in Shelby County
An oncoming white Ford pickup truck, heading east, swerved into a ditch to avoid two vehicles that were already stopped for the oncoming westbound bound school bus. That bus was flashing caution lights and preparing to stop. The pickup rolled, striking the children.
A 7-year-old girl named JaLyric Boykin was killed in the crash. Her brother, 4-year-old Nathan Cooks was taken by helicopter to a Shreveport hospital, and 14-year-old Danielle Cooks was taken to a Tyler hospital..
Witnesses say the accident happened so fast that it caught them completely by surprise.
"We were stopping when the man came around kids were right there where he hit them," said Jackie Downing. "The little boy ended up down the road there. The little girls were here in the ditch and we got out to get the kids. They were face down in the water. The one little girl we ended up trying to do CPR on."
"He turned this way and he ran all the way down there and hit the ditch," said Victoria Cooks. "Then hit my sister, my little niece and nephew and they were still breathing for me and the little boy went all the way down that road, right there."
The driver was not injured. According to the DPS, his name is 22-year-old Eloy Lara of Palestine. Authorities say charges are pending. Relatives of the children hit say that this was a seemingly routine trip to the bus, until the unthinkable happened. They and the entire town are now remembering the life taken, and praying for the children still fighting for their lives.
"It just hurts," said Steven Cook, a family member. "It's a feeling that you can't describe until you experience it. We are going to miss JaLyric so much!"
Cook said his sister, niece, and nephew caught the bus every day. He is still in disbelief over what happened this time.
"I know they seen the bus," he said. "You can't just look that direction and look this direction. You can't see nothing but openness."
Family members say it was at the bus stop where, Danielle, Nathan, and JaLyric, who died at the hospital got hit and tossed.
"One of the little girls was laying right here in the puddle of water and the little boy was laying over here," said Louis Boykin, a family member. "It's sad, it's sad and I am! These other two kids might be damaged for the rest of their lives in this here accident. So we [are] all praying for them and we hope Texas [will] pray for them too."
As Danielle and Nathan fight for their lives, family member are still coming to terms with the fact that JaLyric is gone.
"He just stole the life of a bright young lady," said Cook. "[She was] smart, in school, and very active!"
In memory of JaLyric yellow ribbon lines the polls at the Tenaha ISD. School officials say about 20 students on the bus saw the accident.
"Many have taken the initiative to call parents and they've checked out," said Scott Tyner, principal. "A lot of parents have come up hear upon hearing the news. We still have had some on campus that choose to stay at school today. We've had volunteer counselors."
Now, all that's left is to pray for the ones still recovering.
"Something that was stole, can't be replaced...you know what I'm saying," said Cook. "We love her."
Funeral services for JaLyric are pending. School officials tell us that Nathan Cook is still in critical condition in a Shreveport hospital.