1,000 attend services for young wreck victims
A crowd estimated at 1,000 filed into the Knights of Columbus Hall to pay their last respects to AhKeem (Keem) Williams, Monterios (Monty) Hancox and Kei’Adie Hancox.
AhKeem and Monterios were, respectively, eight and nine-year-old second graders at Rockdale Elementary School. Kei’Adie was four years old.
They died when a Union Pacific freight train hit the vehicle in which they were riding at 3:58 p.m. May 24 on a private drive train crossing two miles east of Rockdale.
Driver was their caregiver, 40-year-old Terrilyn Williams of Rockdale, who continues to recuperate from injuries sustained in the crash.
Williams had adopted AhKeem who is a nephew. She had recently been granted custody of the Hancox boys who are the children of a cousin.
State Trooper Erik Gaston continues to investigate the accident.
He said, contrary to reports at the time, AhKeem was buckled into the front passenger seat.
The Hancox boys, back seat passengers, were not belted in and were thrown from the vehicle, he said.
There is no Texas law requiring persons to be buckled into vehicles on private property, Gaston said.
Gaston said Williams told him she was distracted by the children and did not hear the train’s horn until just before impact.
Train operator was listed as Gary Langlinais, 49, of Boerne.
The family was escorted to the KC Hall in a motorcade with police patrol cars at the front and rear.
Eight hundred chairs had been set up inside the hall the night before, in case weather forced Rockdale High School graduation indoors.
An additional 100 chairs were set up Saturday morning and even more chairs were added after the family and late-arriving mourners filed into the hall.
That would make the funeral the largest held in Rockdale since the 1998 services for State Rep. Dan Kubiak which were also at the KC Hall.
Minister Darryl Grear was the service’s officiant and Minister Rodrick Jackson Sr., pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, presented the eulogy and the message of comfort.
Readings were by Rev. Ernest Taylor, Rev. Royal Johnson and Rev. James Green.
Musical selections were by the New Hope Choir and solos were presented by Mark Mitchell and Ernest Russell.
Resolutions were presented New Hope Baptist Church, Allen Chapel AME and Rising Star Baptist Church.
Liz McQuitter read a poem and there were reminiscences of AhKeem and Monterios by Jeff Miller, Lin Perry, Kim Suits, Tom Loth, Pam Hammett and others.
Burial of all three children was at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Rockdale.