Four Ontario residents, including an 18-month-old boy, are dead following a three-vehicle crash in Texas early Friday morning.
Margaritha Wall Hildebrant, 27, Heinrich Martens, 31, Gerhard Hiebert Peters, 30, and baby Jacob Wall Hiebert died in the head-on collision in Kyle, Tx., about 50 kilometres south of Austin. Two Ontario girls were also taken to hospital.
Helena Hiebert-Wall, 6, and Michaela Hiebert Wall are in stable condition, Justice of the Peace Beth Smith told TV station KVUE. Local police say the younger girl is about three years old.
Working a crash that involves a family and young children is especially tough, Smith said in the interview..
"It is very difficult. In fact, I've been doing this for 17 years. I went to my first debrief with the firefighters and the police officers. I had never been to one. But I felt it was necessary," Smith said.
Police say the driver of a Honda Civic was heading the wrong way in the northbound lane of Interstate 35 around 1 a.m. when it collided with a pickup truck and a minivan the Ontario residents were travelling in.
The 22-year-old driver of the Civic was taken to an Austin hospital in critical condition, police said in a release.
Investigators have performed a "blood search warrant" to assess the driver's sobriety at the time of the collision and are still awaiting results, Smith said.
"I've done several accidents like that on 35 in the last 17 years where someone was going the wrong way. And alcohol has been a factor in those," Smith told KVUE.
The relationship between the deceased is unclear.
Martens and baby Jacob are Canadian citizens, while Hildebrant is a permanent resident of Canada and a Mexican citizen. Peters had been living in Maxwell, Ont., a small community just outside Collingwood.