Family of 5 Killed in Car On Way to 'Dream' Disney World Vacation

Trudi and Michael Hardman and their six children were embarking on the trip of a lifetime -- but it turned into a horrific nightmare. The Texas family was driving through Louisiana on their way to Disney World in Florida when their SUV reportedly veered off of Interstate 20 and rolled over, killing both parents and three of their children, ages 4, 7, and 15.


Police say the driver at the time of the incident was the couple's 16-year-old son, who they believe may have fallen asleep at the wheel before swerving and leaving the road. In an effort to stay straight on the highway, they say he overcorrected, and the 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe veered off the highway, where it rolled over.

Six of the eight people in the vehicle -- including those who were killed -- were reportedly not wearing seatbelts, according to police.

Trudi, a kindergarten teacher, and Michael, a second-grade teacher, were killed, along with sons Dakota Watson, 15, and Adam Hardman, 7, and daughter Kaci Hardman, 4. The couple's 12-year-old son Aaron is reportedly in critical condition at a hospital in Shreveport.

The young driver and another injured passenger were reportedly treated at the hospital and released, but the driver has been charged with reckless operation of a vehicle. The teen reportedly has a valid driver's license.

This was a "dream trip" for the family, according to Michael's brother Timothy Hardman. The couple married five years ago and united their family, which includes three sons from Michael's previous marriage, two of Trudi's sons from a previous marriage, and Kaci -- the daughter whom Michael and Trudi shared.

It seems like they were an idyllic family trying to create happy memories for their children, and it's just horrific and sad to think about their dream turning into a tragedy. Our hearts go out to the surviving members of this family and their relatives and friends.

What are your thoughts about the details of this tragic trip?


Image via Ahmad Adlan/Flickr

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