Friends, relatives remember family members lost in vacation tragedy

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Parents and son killed in crash on summer vacation remembered.

We have new information on a family tragedy that claimed the life of a mother, father, and their eight year old son on the way to a family vacation.

Eight children were inside the car when a blowout caused a horrific rollover crash. We've learned that the trip was a relatively last-minute decision.

The family tells Eyewitness News that Shakneaqui Gallow bought tickets for Fiesta Texas a while ago, but had forgotten until someone reminded her recently. That vacation turned into tragedy.
Wednesday night, the youngest victim's teammates honored him on the field where he spent the last two years playing football.

The Southside Colts called Melvin Gallow Jr. "Mighty Mouse" because he was the smallest kid on the field, but had the biggest heart. He also tackled big.
Wednesday, his football family hit the field for an emotional balloon release.

"It means so much to me because that's something Melvin Jr. loved," says Sheila Henderson.

In that moment Saturday, Sheila Henderson lost her grandson, her daughter Shakneaqui, and her son-in-law Melvin Gallow Sr.

"It's something when you hear other people get the phone call or a knock on the door of a loss like I just had. It's not the same until you experience it yourself."

They were killed on the way to Fiesta Texas for a family vacation Saturday.

The Gallows had their four children, and four other children with them when a blowout caused their minivan to rollover.

DPS says none of the kids were wearing seatbelts. The seven survivors were all taken to an Austin hospital.

"I pray for each one of these children's recovery," says Henderson.

And it's a very long road for several of them.

All of them went to the summer program at New Mount Calvary Baptist Church. Rev. Curtis Dockery knew Melvin Junior as "Poppa", the working man.

"One day "Poppa" didn't come to the program," Rev. Dockery said. "I said Poppa where you been? He said 'I had to go to work Rev. Dockery.'

I said where you work. He said, 'I work at the barber shop.' I say what you do, he said, 'I sweep up hair.'

I said can I borrow a dollar? He said, 'Nah, this is my money.' "

Tashara Eaglin called Shakneaqui the glue that held their group of sister-friends together.

"She was like the mediator. We've been friends since we were little and just to hear that happened, to hear, was shocking and heartbreaking."

Now the focus is on honoring the lives lost, and helping the seven survivors get past this unthinkable tragedy.

There are several ways you can help, including two crowdfunding web paged: The Gallow Family Medical Fund and the Medical Fund for Khloe-Noah.

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