East Texas (KTRE) - The Bellard family of Nacogdoches was on their way home from a send-off party for their daughter, Elyssa, who was about to leave for school at Mississippi State. A fatal accident took the lives of Elyssa and her mother, Quondaila.
The family says that they were stopped in traffic on I-20 near Winona when their vehicle was rear-ended. Quon, as family called her, was killed on impact. Elyssa died en route to the hospital. Father Dale had minor injuries, while their son Dominic, 21, was flown to a local hospital. His injuries are “severe and critical,” those close to the family say.
Dale Bellard, with the assistance of a family friend, has approved the following statement on the fatal accident:
On the evening of July 28, Dale John Bellard Jr, wife Quondaila, son Dominic, and daughter Elyssa were traveling home to Nacogdoches from Tyler. Elyssa Arlene Bellard, 18, and her family were celebrating her recent acceptance into Mississippi State University at Starkville.
While returning home they ran into traffic on I-20 near Winona in Smith County. A driver traveling at a high rate of speed failed to notice the traffic slowed ahead and crashed into the family’s 2019 Chevrolet TRAX.
Quondaila Christine Bellard, 40, died on impact. Elyssa was pronounced deceased at a hospital in Tyler. Dominic James-Armon (DJ) Sellers, 21, was transported by air to the hospital in critical condition. Dale was admitted for shoulder and back injuries and was quickly released. Dominic is in stable condition in intensive care with severe injuries. It is unknown how long until he will be stable enough to return to home to Nacogdoches.
Quondaila was a beloved member of her church and the community in Nacogdoches and a devoted and doting stay-at-home wife and mother.
Elyssa was a recent graduate at Nacogdoches High School and a graduate of cosmetology school where she volunteered as an aide and mentor. She was a vibrant and loving teenager looking forward to beginning her college career.
Both Dale and DJ have received an outpouring of love and support from the community of Nacogdoches in this difficult time. There has been a Gofundme account set up to help the family with the medical and funeral expenses.
Arrangements are being made in Nacogdoches and have not been released. The family respectfully declines to be interviewed at this time. The circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation and criminal charges are being pursued.