On April 7, 2018, Jim Alan Clemens, 31, and his wife Karisa, 29, were driving home with their five children. The couple, along with 8-year-old Angela, 5-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Wyatt, 2-year-old Nicholas, and 2-month-old Juliana were all in their 2005 Chevrolet Suburban.
Jim was driving the vehicle southbound on Highway 87 in Texas. Tragically, they never made it home safely.
A 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe veered into oncoming traffic after its driver, 23-year-old Monique Deion Austin, lost control. Austin struck the Clemens’ suburban.
A 1-year-old boy was in the Tahoe with Austin and sustained minor injuries. However, Jim, Karisa, and baby Juliana were killed in the car crash.
The four oldest Clemens children survived, but not without major health issues.
Little Nicholas was in the best condition, with injuries deemed “non-incapacitating” by the Texas Department of Public Safety. But that was not the case for his siblings Wyatt, Zachary, and Angela.
Wyatt suffered from strokes after the accident. His left side was paralyzed, but he has since taken his first steps post-accident in physical therapy.
Zachary broke his back and has suffered from lung problems, and Angela sustained major brain trauma.
When Angela finally woke up, her recognition of surroundings and cognitive levels were alarming to family and friends.
However, once she was able to talk again, she knew exactly what she wanted. Angela wanted to see her brothers.
She blew kisses at Wyatt, and she was later reunited with Zachary. A tear-jerking picture of their reunion shows them laying next to one another in their hospital beds holding hands.
The children still have a long road to recovery, both physically and mentally. They have asked about their parents and baby sister whose absences are painfully obvious.
Karisa’s aunt, Teresa Burrell, is a family member who has stepped in to help the children cope with such great loss.
According to KTXS, Burrell explained, “As we try to help these guys come to reality, when they are conscious, when they are able to understand that their parents are gone. That their little sister is gone, you know, it’s a challenge.”
Burrell posted a more uplifting update on Facebook on April 28 with a photo of the three oldest holding hands together.
She reported that Angela is able to feed herself now, Zachary is improving his breathing. and Wyatt is walking and climbing.
“Thanks again for all your love, support and especially prayers as we [travel] this healing journey,” she concluded.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the children and those helping them recover during this tragic and difficult time.
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