Wills Point community remembers family killed in car crash - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Wills Point community remembers family killed in car crash

Trudi Hardman, a kindergarten teacher in the district, her husband Michael and three of their children were killed. Trudi Hardman, a kindergarten teacher in the district, her husband Michael and three of their children were killed.
Police say 16-year-old Andrew Hardman was driving, and overcorrected, causing the vehicle to roll-over. Police say 16-year-old Andrew Hardman was driving, and overcorrected, causing the vehicle to roll-over.
WILLS POINT, TX (KLTV) - Two people have been released from the hospital following a wreck that killed five members of an East Texas family on their way to Disney World.

The weight of grief spread across several campuses in Wills Point ISD.

"One day a family is just as happy as they can be, and they are taking their kids to Disney World for a fun-filled Thanksgiving holiday, and the next thing you know, we're dealing with tragedy," said Principal Jim Lamb of Wills Point High School.

Trudi Hardman, a kindergarten teacher in the district, her husband Michael and three of their children, 15-year-old Dakota, 7-year-old Adam and 4-year-old Kaci, were all killed. Michael and Trudi Hardman both had children from a previous relationship.

"It's just sad, it's hard to deal with," said Kameron McEnturff, a junior Wills Point High School.

The Hardman's were driving to Disney World with another family. Police say 16-year-old Andrew Hardman was driving, and overcorrected, causing the vehicle to roll over.

McEnturff was friends with both Dakota and Andrew.

"They were good people and they were friends with just about anybody," McEnturff said.

First Baptist Church Pastor Don Meyers says he visited the high school campus Thursday where students are trying to make sense of the tragedy.

"Death is about the farthest thing from their mind. They think they're kind of bullet proof, their life is right in front of them. So it's very difficult for them and it really hits home," Meyers said.

High school principal Jim Lamb said he was just talking to Dakota the day before.

"I just spoke with the young man yesterday at lunch. I knew they had been looking forward to this trip for a while, just a very exciting time for them," Lamb said.

Lamb says the high school is still in recovery mode after a student died in early October. And he says they will continue to rely on each other to cope with this tragedy.

"Our first priority is our kids and the way they are feeling. You know a lot of our kids, our parents, knew the boys; they have come up and checked out. They are just very distraught," Lamb said.

But community members believe that even in the midst of sorrow, there is always hope. They say they believe they will get through this together.

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