An East Texas Family's Worst Nightmare - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/1/2007-Kilgore

An East Texas Family's Worst Nightmare

A little more than two weeks ago, and elderly couple were hit by an alleged drunk driver in Panola County. The suspect went to jail, but the wreck was just the beginning of this family's grief.

On July 14th Alma Morgan and Marshall Ridens, her companion of 8 years, were on their way to Alma's 70th birthday party, but they never made it. According to the DPS report, they were hit in Panola County by 20 year old Jody Barnett, who was allegedly intoxicated.

Alma died in the crash, and Marshall was taken to ETMC.

"He has been on a breathing machine this whole time. I've been back and forth every day to see him. He never was well enough to tell him Ms. Alma died," said Kandi Ridens, Marshall's daughter.

Tuesday the family had to make a decision. They took Marshall off his breathing machine.

"It was just like a peace spread across his face and he was gone," said Darrell Morgan.

The family said their goodbyes and left the hospital only to find another nightmare outside.

"Whenever we got out to the parking lot it was gone," said Darrell.

Their White Dodge 2001 pickup, stolen from East Texas Medical Center's parking lot.

"Nothing of great importance to anybody else," said Darrell.

But what was inside the truck is why the family is so upset. In a folder was many of Marshall's belongings.

"As of right now we don't care about the truck. I want the lawyer's folder that was in it back. I want my dads wallet back, my dad's drivers license back. I want everything that was in there. I want it back. I don't care how to get it back to us, just somehow please get it back to us," said Kandi.

The thief also took the family's livelihood. Darrell is a welder, and all his equipment was inside the truck.

"You took away our way of income. Taking care of our for kids," said Darrell.

A family's plea for help, hoping that someone is watching.

"If they ever lost a mother or father they would know how much stuff that would mean."

The truck is a 2001 White Dodge 2500 extended cab pickup. The license plate is 45V YG2. If you've seen the truck, please call Tyler Police.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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