Mom's Distracted Driving to Blame for Accident That Killed 3 Kids

 distracted driving crash
KFOR News

As a seasoned driver, it can be easy to forget a split second means a lot when it comes to mistakes on the road. A case of distracted driving caused a crash that ended the lives of one Oklahoma mother and three children last month in an incident that left their families shocked and devastated. 

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Forty-year-old Erin Van Horn was traveling from a summer outing at a local park with six children when she was involved in a fatal car crash on July 17. According to official reports, it was Van Horn's distracted driving that caused her SUV to crash into the back of a semi-truck at an alarming speed.

The driver of the semi-truck was unharmed. Though, as a result of the crash, Van Horn, along with her 10-year-old son and family friends 11-year-old Beck Kitterman and 13-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzy" Edwards, all lost their lives. 

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Erin's daughters, Lauren and Samantha, along with their friend Isabella "Izzy" Kitterman were all rushed to the hospital immediately following the accident. Samantha was treated and released while Lauren and Isabella suffered critical injuries that required them to stay longer.

"It was a significant crash," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Dwight Durant to local KFOR News."It looks like the semi was in the right hand lane at a stop and [an] SUV came up behind it and runs into the back of it."

While reports do not specifiy exactly what caused Erin Van Horn's distracted driving, we do know that the two boys who died were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

During a memorial, Matthew Van Horn said of his wife and son, "How do I celebrate the incredible lives of my wife and son without succumbing to the pain of this excruciating tragedy?" 

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GoFundMe campaigns have been created on the behalf of both the Kitterman and Van Horn families by close friends. 

The lives lost in this tragic accident should serve as a heartbreaking reminder to everyone that the road is no place to lose focus. 

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