Quinton Thomas' family told ABC13 they found out about his death in St. Croix on Friday.
Thomas and another man, Marcus Roy, died in an after-work accident. Friends say the men were working an inspection job on the island for Versa Integrity Group, Inc., a Houston company that does welding inspections on drums, vessels, and piping.
Thomas' family says he was a military veteran, having spent eight years in the Navy and one year in the Army.
Thomas was a father of three children: a 6-year-old son, Lavell, and two others kids who are 11 and 8 years old.
Lavell turned 6 years old three weeks ago.
Charde Wilson, Lavell's mother, says Thomas had been in St. Croix since Jan. 28. He was supposed to be there for eight weeks and worked for the company for less than a year.
"It's like something inside of me wanted to scream, but I couldn't scream because at the same time, I was like, I don't know how I'm going to tell Lavell," said Wilson.
Wilson says she then had to have the toughest conversation ever with her son.
"'You know what heaven is?' And he said, 'Yes, you go there when you die.' And I told him, 'Well, Daddy went to heaven.' And he was just like, 'Daddy died? I said, 'Yeah, he did. So it's just us,'" explained Wilson. "And he just said, 'So who's going to be my daddy now?' He's like, 'When am I going to have another daddy?'"
Beautiful family: Charde Wilson, Quinton Thomas & their son Lavell. Friday, Thomas was killed in an accident in the Caribbean.— Courtney Fischer (@CourtneyABC13) February 11, 2019
“Daddy went to heaven,” Charde told their son. “And he was like, ‘Who’s going to be my daddy now?’”
HEARTBREAKING. #abc13 https://t.co/wYwyvkQjtJ pic.twitter.com/7UNGenFjIy
Hours before the crash, Wilson and Thomas texted. "I love you" was the last thing he wrote.
Wilson texted him back the same message, along with a photo of Lavell. She later realized he never got to see those pictures.
Wilson says she and Thomas, who is originally from Louisiana, were in the process of building their dream home in Pearland. They had planned to move to the area in May.
Thomas was also about to turn 36 years old.
Wilson told ABC13 she wants people to know Thomas was a hard worker, dependable, and a great father.
His two other sons live in Louisiana, but they were planning to all reunite at their new home.
ORIGINAL STORY: Houston father working to buy family's first home killed in Caribbean crash
Roy, his co-worker, was a husband and father as well. He was working in St. Croix, trying to make some money to purchase his family's first home.
Friends describe Roy, 29, as a cowboy who loved his family and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
"He loved it. He was a cowboy, an incredible dancer," said Shelby Nixon, a Godmother to Roy's youngest daughter.
"Marcus loved his girls and wife more than anything and everything he did was for them," said good friend and co-worker Wayne Norton.
His wife Christina is now without a husband. His two girls are under the age of two and without their father.
Roy grew up near Angleton and called League City home.
Friends have created a GoFundMe page to help his family through the rough days ahead.
Friends say Roy was driving and Thomas was the passenger when they were both killed. The accident is under investigation in the Caribbean.
Versa released a statement to ABC13 on the passing of both men:
"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of two members of our Versa Family. Marcus Roy and Quinton Thomas were both dedicated, hard working members of our family and were lost tragically in an off-duty accident in St. Croix over the weekend. We are working with the local authorities and the families to do whatever we can to support them in this difficult time. We are a family at Versa, and things like this are never easy but we know that our employees will band together and support the families from here on out. We are helping set up GoFundMe campaigns for both the families and would encourage everyone to consider donating to both to help. We have very little information to share right now, but as it comes available, the families can decide what they would like to be released out of respect for their privacy. God Bless both the families. We will always be here for them."
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