Witnesses react to crash, victims’ family clings to faith


Evansville, Ind. (WEHT)– The driver police say caused a deadly crash on U.S. 41 Monday made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. Investigators say 42-year-old Damon Busby is facing three counts of reckless homicide. He is being held in the Vanderburgh County Jail on a $10,000 bond. Eyewitness News has talked with several people who saw what the crash left behind.

“There was a guy laying next to the ground by the fire and told them to move them so if it exploded he would be okay,” said Kirsten Hart. She said the Lawrence’s SUV was already on fire when she got there and within minutes both the SUV and pickup truck were engulfed in flames. “It all happened within like five minutes. It felt like an eternity though. The fire was very intense. You could feel the heat 200 feet away.”

Dashcam video from a semi-truck shows Damon Busby’s tan truck driving through the intersection then hitting the Lawrence’s vehicle. Rick Kallbrier says he saw Busby’s truck zoom right past him, minutes later he saw flames.

“I thought he was being chased and then, unfortunately, I was thinking he didn’t have any regard for anybody,” said Kallbrier.

Crystal Lawrence’s family is mourning the loss of a daughter, son, and a mother.

“I’ve always said god needed another flower for the master’s bouquet,” said Crystal Lawrence’s mom, Melody Tabor. She is reflecting on the fond memories of her daughter and grandchildren. “Him [Chase] and grandma would fight over Cheetos.”

Tabor said her faith is what’s helping her get through these tragic times after Crystal Lawrence and her two children, Abby and Chase, died in that crash.

“But my daughter was so beautiful, so meek. She didn’t have no odd against nobody. She loved her children,” said Tabor.

There is a bank account called ‘Crystal’ at Fifth Third Bank where people can donate money to help Tabor with funeral costs.

Busby told investigators he does not remember hitting the Lawrence’s Chrysler and the only thing he remembers is hitting a semi truck while he was driving from Henderson to Evansville. He will be in court again November 12.

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(This story was originally published on September 24, 2020) 

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