VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Five children are dead, and five other people are injured following a fatal rollover crash near the I-20 exit ramp at FM 16, and the driver of the vehicle could potentially face five criminal charges.
Around 2:15 Monday afternoon, Champion EMS and multiple helicopters were dispatched to an exit ramp near I-20 and FM 16 in Van Zandt County, to tend to multiple injured persons.
DPS officials say a hunter green GMC Envoy blew a tire and rolled-off the interstate, nearly to the frontage road, before coming to a rest upside-down.
Nine people inside the vehicle were ejected in the crash.
The names of the children who died and the driver of the vehicle were released early Tuesday morning. According to DPS, the driver of the vehicle was Federico Esquivel Acuna. 13-year-old Rosbelia Jaimes, 7-year-old Omar Jaimes, 6-year-old Saideth Acuna, 3-year-old Yuliza Acuna, and 2-year-old Judith Jaimes were all killed in the accident.
There were four other children in the vehicle. A 15-year-old girl who was not injured and three boys ages 10, nine and five-years-old. A third child remains in critical condition at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
Two other children were transported to Children's in Dallas, and have been treated and released.
The two other adults in the vehicle were 34-year-old Estela Acuna, wife of Federico Acuna and her sister 24-year-old Elida Jaimes. Both were transported to ETMC in Tyler.
The driver of the vehicle and the 15-year-old girl were the only ones wearing seatbelts. They were not injured.
No charges have been filed because of the ongoing investigation, but Federico Acuna potentially faces five counts of negligent homicide.
Officials say the occupants of the vehicle were traveling from Marshall to Canton to visit Splash Kingdom.
There were 12 total people in the SUV at the time of the crash; all of the occupants were related. Officials say the vehicle did have a third row for seating, which according to the GMC Envoy owner's manual, would allow for 7 properly-restrained occupants.
An account has been set up at Citizens National Bank in Marshall to help with funeral costs for the families of the victims.
Marshall ISD released the following statement on their students' death:
Marshall Independent School District is deeply saddened by the news from Monday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and our district staff who have been deeply affected by this tragedy. It is at this time we would also like to be respectful of the privacy of family and friends as they go through this time of grief.
Rosbelia was an eighth grade student, Omar was a third grade student, and Saideth was a first grade student at Marshall ISD.