GALVESTON, Texas A family was still searching for answers Friday after a terrible tragedy at Crystal Beach, even as detectives closed their investigation into the incident.
On February 9, 2012, 3-year-old LaShaun Lovejoy Huff was killed by a rolling driftwood log while walking down the beach with his family.
The family has struggled to deal with the sudden loss, especially since LaShaun was taken from them in such a freak accident.
There s no words to explain it. It s just the hardest thing that I ve ever had to go through, LaShaun s mother, Ashley Huff, said. Every day, it was always, Momma, when do we go to the beach? Momma, Daddy, when are we going to move to the water? It was like a dream come true when he seen that water.
But that dream turned into a nightmare as LaShaun walked in the sand that day with his relatives.
The log, which was about 39 feet long, 3 feet in diameter and weighed hundreds of pounds, suddenly rolled off of a dune and crushed the little boy.
It also hit LaShaun s 15-year-old aunt and grandfather.
I thought all three of them were gone, Amanda Marsh, LaShaun s grandmother, said. I was screaming. When I seen that log I just dropped and screamed, when it was over on top of them.
LaShaun s aunt and grandfather survived, thanks in part to swift actions by Galveston County Deputy James Herndon and Angel Davis, another of LaShaun s aunts. Herndon cleared the sand away so the 15-year-old could breathe, even as the log was on top of her. Davis, who was walking with the group when the accident happened, pushed LaShaun s younger sibling out of the way of the oncoming log, deputies said.
The family said they have no idea where the log came from or why it was there.
Why was it there? Why had it not been removed before this happened? Huff said.
Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo of the Galveston County Sheriff s Office said, in the wake of the accident, deputies conducted 21 interviews with passersby at the scene, responding officers, paramedics, Huff s family and personnel from the Galveston County Road Department who are responsible for maintaining beaches in the area.
Deputies examining the scene noticed the sand in the area of the log was soft and unstable. They indicated the sand was unable to support the weight of someone walking by without shifting, Tuttoilmondo said.
What s more, Tuttoilmondo said the grandfather told investigators that one of the family members may have even touched the log as they walked by.
That, combined with the sand movement caused by the passing family, could have caused the log to roll.
Crews are assigned to clean the beaches, but the Galveston County Sheriff s Office said none of the crews recalled seeing that particular log prior to LaShaun s death.
Investigators said it s not uncommon to see logs of that size on the beach. Typically, beach crews push the logs into the dunes to help build them up. In other instances, the tide deposits the logs in the dunes on its own. Tuttoilmondo said it s impossible to determine whether it was the tide or beach crews who deposited the log that killed LaShaun.
I just want it to be removed before it happens to some other family, Huff said.
The sheriff s office said the log that killed LaShaun was still on the beach Friday, in what they believe is a stable location.
While LaShaun s family said they know nothing will bring their loved one back, they were speaking out in the hopes that an accident like that never happens again.
They also hope to find an unidentified good Samaritan who tried to help dig LaShaun out from under the log that day.
The family said they want to thank him. If you know who that man is, let us know on the KHOU 11 News Facebook page.