SAN ANTONIO - New details on a horrific crash that claimed the lives of two small children.
The brother and sister died when the SUV they were in crashed Sunday afternoon on the South Side. Their mother, who was also injured in the crash, began planning for their funerals as she talked about the last words she shared with her beloved children.
“My head hit the window, then it stopped. I checked on my kids. They were outside,” remembered Jennifer Ruiz.
It was a mother's worst nightmare. Ruiz was riding in the passenger's seat of a white Ford Expedition when the accident happened. Her new boyfriend was driving.
“The tire blew out. He lost control of the truck. That's when everything happened,” explained Ruiz.
The driver lost control of the SUV, hit a guard rail, and rolled over.
Little 4-year-old Jesse Panchame and his sister, 6-year-old Keylin were thrown from the vehicle. Officers say neither child was properly strapped into their seats.
The SUV landed in front of oncoming traffic on Interstate 35.
“The 18-wheeler was southbound on the interstate, I believe in the left hand lane. When one of the children was ejected, he struck the child,” said Detective Tim O’Connell.
“They were laid out by the street. My son, at the scene, he, at the scene, he passed away,” cried Ruiz.
Her boyfriend, 26-year-old Banajamin Vallegos, fled the scene. Ruiz and her nephew, who was also in the car, were both left behind and hurt.
After realizing her son died, Ruiz tried talking to her daughter.
“They told me to tell her to blink her eyes. She wouldn't. I told her I loved her. She wouldn't say anything to me,” said Ruiz.
Keylin was taken by Airlife to University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Now as Ruiz plans funerals for her two youngest children, she talks about their innocence and loving demeanor.
“He loved to dance. He loved to give hugs, kisses. He would always give me hugs, kisses,” said Ruiz. “She was a good girl. My only little girl.”
An account has been set up at SACU for anyone who would like to assist with the children's funeral expenses. The account is listed in the children's names Jesse and Keylin Panchame.
Police don’t know why Banajamin Vallegos took off or where he was headed. Police are still looking for him.
The driver of the 18-wheeler will not face any charges.