Family was struggling with one death when wreck claimed two more lives

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Kan. -- A deadly car wreck has left a pair of siblings without a mother and an older brother. The mother and her son from Kansas City, Mo., were killed on Tuesday night around 6:45 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 north of Ottawa, Kan.

April Brown, 28, and 9-year-old Jeremiah 'JJ' Persinger died at the scene after Brown lost control of her Toyota Camry and crossed the median into oncoming traffic. The car was struck broadside by an Infiniti. Brown's 46-year-old boyfriend survived the crash, as did the 28-year-old driver of the Infiniti. Both were hospitalized with injuries.

Tragically, the family was in the midst of dealing with one family death when two more happened. Now they are struggling to move on with their lives without the ones they love.

What helps the pain is holding on to the memories. That’s why 5-year-old Carter and 8-year-old Kaye’lynn hang on to pictures of their mom and brother.

“My mom and brother are in heaven,” said Carter.

Grandma Jucunda Lorenz was in Ottawa because of another family death. She spoke to Brown who was on the way there with little JJ and her boyfriend. That was the last time they spoke.

“My son called and he said the police were at my door back here, back home, that my daughter and grandson passed away in a car wreck,” Lorenz said.

No one could have predicted the string of tragedies the family now faces.

“We lost three babies in one night. We lost my nephew, we lost my daughter, we lost my grandson,” Lorenz said.

To help the family with funeral expenses, click here.