Mother, 2 sons die in crash on Fred Hartman Bridge

Published On: Jul 09 2012 08:48:02 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 09 2012 05:36:23 PM CDT

BAYTOWN, Texas -

A mother and two of her eight children died after an accident on the Fred Hartman bridge in Baytown.

The crash happened Saturday around 10 p.m. at mile marker 490.

The Department of Public Safety said Petra Banda Morales, 46, was driving home northbound on the bridge when her 2000 Chevy Cavalier had car trouble. The car stalled in the middle lane.

DPS officials said a second driver, David Roese, was also headed north in his Chevy 3500 pickup truck. Roese slammed into the back of Morales' car, investigators said. He was not hurt, but was taken to a hospital for a blood-alcohol test as part of the investigation.

Morales died, along with two of her two sons -- 8-year-old Jeremiah Urbano and 2-year-old Aaron Cano.

Morales' other son in the car, 15-year-old Demecio Banda, was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was in stable condition. He suffered a fractured collarbone and internal bleeding, among other injuries.

The family said the vehicle had clutch problems, which caused the car to stall.

Officials said Morales left behind five more children.

"It's a terrible tragedy. I just miss my babies so much," said Norma Banda, Petra's mother. "She was special. I mean, we went through a lot -- me and her."

Little Aaron was just a few weeks away from turning 3.

"We're here for him because he's by himself now," said a neighbor, referring to Aaron's father, who is now planning his sons' and wife's funeral. The family said they agreed to have Aaron buried in the same coffin as his mother.

To help with funeral expenses, the family has set up a memorial account at Chase Bank. Donations can be made to the Banda Memorial Trust Account at any Chase Bank.

No charges have been filed in the case.


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