HOUSTON Three Briargrove children whose parents were killed in a car accident in West Texas over the weekend have returned to Houston.
Josh Berry, 41, and Robin Berry, 40, died on July 2 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.
Their three children, 9-year-old Peter, 8-year-old Aaron and 6-year-old Willa, were injured in the crash.
The kids were rushed to Lubbock Covenant Hospital, where they stayed for several days until they were stable enough to be moved to Houston Wednesday night.
Willa s injuries weren t as serious as her brothers , and she is now staying with close family friends in Houston. Peter and Aaron both have spinal cord injuries and were being treated at a hospital the Texas Medical Center Thursday.
Now it s just a matter of rehabilitation and there may be some further procedures, but not the major procedures that they ve already undergone, said longtime Berry family friend Lisa Strauss, who helped with the move to Houston. We do believe that they will come out of this strong and healthy and we feel very strongly about the power of everyone s prayers.
The children were not immediately told of their parents deaths. Strauss was with them when they shared the tragic news with them.
They were together and they re handling it the way any child does. They re having moments of sadness and having moments of playfulness because they are children, said Strauss.
She said the youngest, Willa, has been talkative since the accident.
It s great. She s the same Willa she always was, which is one minute a little angel and the next minute a little feisty devil. She s doing great and she s handling it as best as any 6-year-old can handle it, Strauss said.
The boys, who have been heavily sedated, are also starting to express themselves more. Peter has been asking for his favorite foods.
I was standing over him and he said, What did you just eat, and I said, A peanut butter cracker. Does it smell really bad, and he said, No it smells really good, and I said, I m sorry, let me move out of the way, and he said, No, can I have a hamburger, Strauss recalled.
The Berrys, who lived in the Briargrove area, were well-known in the community.
There s really no words to describe it. It s horrible. We re going to miss them, said 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.
Funeral services for their parents were held Wednesday at Beth Yeshurun synagogue in Houston. The service lasted nearly three hours. More than 2,000 people attended.
All three children attended school at Beth Yeshurun. Thursday, grief counselors met with their young friends to explain what happened. Parents also met with other counselors to learn how best to handle the situation.
It s very scary. There s a lot that we know from the care that they received in Lubbock, but now that they re in the medical community in Houston there will be a re-evaluation. It will take a lot of time to understand what they re going to need long-term, said Berry family friend Karen Edelman.
According to Edelman, family and close friends will be raising the children, but they will need help.
The phrase it takes a village really comes to mind. It s not just going to be their extended family, it s really going to be the Houston community that s going to play a role in Willa and Peter and Aaron having the life that Josh and Robin started for them. We will finish that for them, said Edelman.
The Perlo-Berry Family Fund has been established online to help the Berry children. Click here for more information.