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St. Louis family loses fifth member to crash involving stolen SUV

Four family members were killed on May 6 when a Jeep broadsided the minivan they were riding in. An 11-year-old girl injured in the crash died earlier this week.

ST. LOUIS — "I have never experienced anything like this, and no one wants to experience the pain that I am feeling right now," said Elinor Simmons, the 72-year-old matriarch of a family that lost several members in early May in a crash in west St. Louis.

An overwhelmed Simmons wishes the unbearable pain was just a bad dream, but it's not.

"It's a tremendous loss to lose so many like that in one day," Simmons said.

Simmons said on May 6, several family members finished grocery shopping and her son, Ephraim Simmons, was taking his relatives home. Her family was traveling north on Pendleton Avenue in Ephriam's Kia Sedona, police said.

Three teenagers in a stolen Jeep Cherokee, were "attempting to evade police at a high rate of speed" when they crashed into the family at the intersection of Pendleton Avenue and Delmar Boulevard.

"I have really been stressed out about all of this," Simmons said.

Four family members were instantly killed: her 52-year-old daughter, Anngelique Simmons; her sons, 47-year-old Ephriam Simmons and 45-year-old Luther Simmons; and her-34-year-old granddaughter Rhonda Simmons.

Credit: Aaron Piggee
Pictured (l to r) are Anngelique Simmons, 52; Luther Simmons, 45; Ephriam Simmons, 47; and Rhonda Simmons, 34.

Simmons' three great-granddaughters, Anniyasha Wallace, 15, Takera Thompson, 11, Trinity Thompson, 8, suffered injuries. Takera died Monday at a St. Louis hospital.

Credit: Aaron Piggee
Anniyasha Wallace, 15, was injured Friday night when the minivan she was riding in was hit by an SUV.

"She was definitely in critical condition ever since and she didn't make. She was fighting though," said Aaron Piggee, Takera's uncle.

Credit: Aaron Piggee
Takera Thompson, 11, (left) and Trinity Thompson, 8, were injured Friday night when the minivan they were riding in was hit by an SUV.

"It just hurts because I won't be able to see my children anymore. I won't be able to hug them. I won't be able to talk to them. I'm preparing for a mass funeral service now for five family members," Simmons said.

Police arrested two 17-year-old boys after the crash. The driver of the Jeep ran away from the crash scene, police said.

A St. Louis police spokeswoman said there was no update on the crash in response to an email request. More than a week after the deadly crash, police still haven't arrested the teenage driver.

Piggee said detectives told him the driver is 17 years old.

"I really do hope they catch him or this person just turns himself in. Again, I will fight for justice for my family members," Piggee said.

Meantime, Elinor Simmons, his grief-stricken grandmother, tries to remain strong.

"I'm standing on the strength of God," she said.

Simmons is, however, grateful for some good news.

Her 8- and 15-year-old great-granddaughters were released from the hospital last week.

A GoFundMe account has also been established to help with funeral costs.

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