Briargrove couple killed in crash; 3 kids hospitalized

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by Courtney Zubowski / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 14 at 5:45 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas – Three Houston children remained hospitalized in Lubbock Tuesday after a two-vehicle crash took the lives of their parents Saturday.

Josh Berry, 41, and Robin Berry, 40, were killed when a car veered into oncoming traffic on Highway 285 in Fort Stockton and struck their minivan head-on. The family was on their way home from a vacation in Colorado.

The driver of the car, 31-year-old Michael Doyle of Phoenix, was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday. His passenger, 28-year-old Colleen Doyle, was killed in the crash.

The Berry family, who lived in the Briargrove area, was well-known in the community.

"There’s really no words to describe it. It’s horrible. We’re going to miss them," said longtime family friend Emily Weinstein. "They were a very tight-knit family."

Josh Berry unsuccessfully ran for Houston City Council in 2003. Robin Berry was a party planner.

Their three children, 9-year-old Peter, 8-year-old Aaron and 6-year-old Willa, were seriously injured.

Aaron underwent abdominal surgery on July 2 to repair lacerations to internal organs. On Sunday, doctors put pins in his lower back to stabilize his spine.

Peter also underwent a successful spine-stabilizing procedure, according to the Jewish Herald-Voice.

Both boys will need intensive therapy when they return to Houston.

Family friend Jennifer Deutsch, who was among a group of people who went to Lubbock to be with the children after the crash, told the Herald-Voice the boys will need intensive physical therapy when they return to Houston, but it’s unclear if they will ever regain movement in their legs.

Willa’s injuries were not as severe. Deutsch told the Herald-Voice that she suffered a broken ankle and arm, but was otherwise uninjured.

Deutsch said that as of Monday, the children hadn’t been told that their parents were dead.

"The family decided that they’re going to tell the children when the three of them are able to hear the news together," Deutsch told the Jewish Herald-Voice. "For the time being, they’ve been told that they are in a special hospital for children and that their parents are in a place for grown-ups."

Deutsch said once doctors determine that the kids are stable enough for transfer, they'll bring them back to Houston.

"There is no question in my mind that the support for these kids will be overwhelming in the coming weeks, months, years to make sure they are surrounded with the same type of love and warmth and care that Josh and Robin would have given them as parents," said longtime family friend Jason Buchman.

A funeral service for Josh and Robin Berry was scheduled for 2 p.m. on July 6 at the Beth Yeshurun synagogue in Houston. A private burial will follow.

The "Perlo-Berry Family Fund" has been established online to help the Berry children. Click here for more information.


 

The Associated Press and the Jewish Herald-Voice contributed to this report.

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