Family remembers girl, 11, killed in crash

March 13, 2012 9:41:23 AM PDT
In a matter of moments, everything changed for one Houston family. Now, they are sharing their story in hopes it may help save others.

A mother was waiting in her car with her daughter when a crash killed Lauren Hannes. It happened Friday afternoon in front of Labay Middle School in northwest Harris County.

"She touched a lot of lives," said Carol Hannes, Lauren's mother.

She was making quite an impact as a daughter, a sister and a best friend.

"Her personality can light up a room," said her brother, Brenton Hannes.

"We just wanted to be friends forever, you know? And we will be," said Lauren's best friend, Jaina Kiley.

She dreamed of being a baker in Paris, teaching Sunday school or making one of her many singing videos on her phone.

"A very vibrant child. My parents got it right on the last one. They got it right," Brenton said.

"You just remember the good times you had with them and how you'll see them again," Kiley said.

Lauren was in a parked SUV with her mother on Friday afternoon waiting for her sister to walk out from Labay Middle School.

"The only thing that comforts us is we're believers and we know she was and we know that she's in heaven," Carol said.

Sheriff's deputies say the driver of another SUV had a diabetic episode, then lost control, driving across the school yard, striking the Hannes family and two more vehicles. Lauren died a few hours later.

"The weather was so uncomfortably fitting this weekend, with it hailing on Friday and Saturday, just storming, because our sunshine was taken away from this family," Brenton Hannes said.

Now those hundreds of pictures and videos are all they have.

"A specific line that sticks out to me is 'Don't forget me, I beg,' and we won't ever forget her, never," Brenton Hannes said.

And while she may have been the youngest member of her family, she sure left a lot of people wanting to follow in her footsteps.

"It was like God had to have her. He wanted her badly. Now he has another angel," Brenton Hannes said.

The sheriff's department is waiting for official toxicology results on the driver. They will present the case to the DA's office to find out if charges will be filed.

The funeral will be held at Crossbridge Christian Church on Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone who knows of a medical condition that could impair their ability to drive is required to report that to the DPS. You can also anonymously report anyone who you know has a medical condition, but hasn't told DPS about it. You just need to know their name and either driver's license number or date of birth. The DPS says anyone who knowingly drives with a medical condition that impairs their abilities could be charged with a crime if he or she causes a crash.