DALLAS-FORT WORTH, Texas — Five family members who lived in Alpharetta, including two children, were killed in a crash on a Texas highway the day after Christmas.
Another person from the same family who lived in Texas was also killed and three more people were critically injured.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that six of the victims traveled to Texas from Alpharetta.
Deputies said the six people killed were traveling in a Honda Odyssey on U.S. 67 North on Tuesday when a Chevrolet Silverado tried to pass another car in a no-passing zone. The truck hit the Odyssey head-on.
The driver and passenger of the truck, 17-year-old Luke Resecker and 17-year-old Preston Glass, were also taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The dead included six people in the Odyssey: two women, ages 36 and 60; two men, ages 28 and 64; and two children, a 10-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl. The 28-year-old man, who was the driver, was from Irving, Texas.
Channel 2 Action News spoke to family members in India, who identified the victims as Nageswararao Ponnada (64) and his wife Sitamahalakshmi Ponnada (60), their daughter Naveena Potabathula (36) and their grandchildren, Pkrithik Potabathula (10) and Nishidha Potabathula (9). Rushil Barri (28) was also killed in the Odyssey. It’s unclear how he is related to the family.
One member of the family survived the crash. Lokesh Potabathula (43), of Alpharetta, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The family is related to a politician in the region of Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Party lawmaker Ponnada Venkata Satish Kumar, according to the Hindustan Times.
“My uncle and his family lived in Atlanta,” he told the outlet. ”They were returning home after taking part in Christmas celebrations at the house of other relatives in Texas when the accident took place.”
Channel 2′s Michael Doudna spoke with Ayyappala Bandaru, a close friend of 28-year-old Barri, on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m.
“We were with all of them since Saturday,” said Bandaru. “We tried to call everyone in the car, Rushil, Lokesh, his wife.”
Bandaru said it was hard to believe what happened.
“We were just like what just happened, did this thing really happen?” said Bandaru.
He said Barri just wanted to show his family around Dallas.
“His family just came from Atlanta, so he just wanted to show them Dallas,” said Bandaru. “The final word I told him was ‘drive safe.’ And he did it. It was not his mistake.”
Bandaru said he misses him.
“I miss him like anything man, more than a brother, more than a brother. Day before yesterday he was with me on this bed, and now he’s nowhere in my life,” said Bandaru.
A survivor of the Odyssey, a 26-year-old man from Georgia was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The driver and passenger in the Chevrolet pickup, both 17-year-old Glen Rose residents, were transported to Fort Worth hospitals in critical condition.
The victims have not been identified.