13-year-old Lauren Van Horn returned home recently after being treated in hospital for several days after an accident that claimed the life of her mother, her brother, and two young family friends. A report from Tulsa World said approximately 100 people were on the street cheering as Lauren and her dad, Matt Van Horn, drove up to their house in Jenks. It was her first time being home since the accident, and the neighborhood was out in force to greet her.
There were people in the crowd carrying signs of support and love, and everyone waved, cheered, and yelled as they drove up the street. They walked with the Van Horn’s SUV to their home, said a prayer together, then left them to their privacy. Many of the well-wishers had never actually met the Van Horns but were moved by young Lauren’s ordeal. Vicky Adams, one of the supporters, who came with her son, “I can only hope the love the community is showing for them is going to help them to just get up and be.”
On July 17, Lauren, her mother, 2 siblings, and 3 friends were traveling along Interstate 35 when their SUV collided with a semi truck. Lauren’s mother Erin, brother Zac, 13-year-old Elizabeth Edwards, and 11-year-old Beck Kitterman died at the scene. 13-year-old Isabella Kitterman was critically injured, and 7-year-old Samantha Van Horn escaped with minor injuries.
The crash remains under investigation. The group had been spending some time at Turner Falls and we’re returning home. The kids were all friends through their TSC-Hurricane soccer team. The Van Horns were very involved with the club and made many friends through that association. Brooke Jones, a family acquaintance who is familiar with the Van Horns through the soccer club, says that the amount of people who showed up to welcome Lauren Home are a testament to how well-respected and loved they are in the community. A GoFundMe page to help with the Van Horn’s medical bills and funeral expenses had already raised over $130,000 in just 2 days. “It doesn’t surprise me for Tulsa,” said Jones.
As can be seen by the devastation that this one accident has had on a single family and a community, truck accidents can be especially deadly. Trucks are traveling at a high rate of speed, and by their sheer size can easily cause catastrophic damage to other vehicles, people, and even buildings. Because of their size, they also can be unwieldy to handle in emergency situations, so it’s best to always be diligent when driving in their vicinity.
It remains to be seen whether the Van Horn’s the other families who lost children will be seeking legal action in regards to this accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, the best thing to do besides resting and recovering is to contact an attorney who specializes in these cases. They can help you get the compensation you deserve.