SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A fund is set up for two East Texas teenagers, whose parents were electrocuted in Wednesday night's storms. Authorities say Wednesday night, Jose and Patricia Gonzalez died when they came into contact with a power line the storms knocked down on County Road 37, near Lavender Rd. Sadly, this all played out in front of one of the couple's children.
"They adored them," said family friend Hector Garza. "They were very very close." A happy family, torn apart by tragedy. Daniella Gonzalez, 16 and her 15 year-old brother are suddenly left alone.
DPS Troopers say their parents, Jose and Patricia Gonzalez of Tyler, drove over part of a downed electrical line, which they may not have even seen on such a dark, stormy night. Friend Hector Garza says their truck caught fire, and they had to act fast.
"They jumped from the vehicle in fear the vehicle would explode," said Garza. "The 15 year-old, Louis, he was able to get away from the vehicle, but when the mother and father jumped, they apparently landed on top of the electrical cable." Garza says Patricia stepped on the line and her husband tried to pull her off, but they were both electrocuted. All their son could do was run for help.
"Sad and traumatizing that he had to see the whole thing unfold before his eyes, and our hearts go out to them, and it's a very hard time for these kids," said Garza.
"He can't get the picture out of his mind," said Daniella's friend Cintya Garza. "It's hard for me, as well. To see my friend, my best friend, go through that. Losing her family makes me get in her situation and see how it would be like, but I can't imagine what she's going through." Cintya Garza and her dad opened a donation fund Friday and are hoping to get the word out.
"If anybody could open up their hearts to help these two kids," said Hector Garza. "One of Daniella's main concerns is to finish paying off her parents bills." Daniella and Louis do have other family, but the Garza's know no one can replace their parents who've raised and loved them their entire life.
"God bless them, and I hope they'll be ok," said Cintya Garza.
If you want to help, monetary donations are accepted at any Capital One bank locations, under the name Daniella and Louis Gonzalez.