Okeechobee family involved in crash on way home from cattle show

Posted 7/2/24

According to the Kilgore Police Department, a westbound SUV crossed the median, became airborne and flew into the side of the eastbound truck ...

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Okeechobee family involved in crash on way home from cattle show


KILGORE, TEXAS – An Okeechobee family was involved in a crash on their way home from a cattle show on June 30. According to the Kilgore Police Department, a westbound SUV crossed the median, became airborne and flew into the side of the eastbound truck and stock trailer.

A family from Louisiana was traveling in the SUV. One person from the SUV was ejected in the crash.

On July 1, the Kilgore Police Department shared this information about the crash on their Facebook page: “On Sunday evening (June 30), Kilgore First Responders were dispatched to a crash on I-20. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a fatal accident. Prayers are needed for the two out-of-state families who were involved in this horrific crash. One family was in more critical condition and was airlifted and transported to Tyler. The other family was transported to Christus Longview, but one child was later airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Dallas.

“A small SUV was traveling westbound and came across the undivided median at approximately 93 miles per hour (verified by Life360). The vehicle became airborne as it crossed the eastbound traffic lanes and struck a truck and livestock trailer in midair. It is unknown at this time what caused the harmful act, but the investigation continues. First responders arrived to find one person had been ejected, and others had to be extracted by Kilgore Rescue and Fire Department. We appreciate Christus sending additional trucks and two helicopters. Several persons remain in critical condition, so let's send up some prayers.

“The eastbound truck was from Florida, and the family had been at a Junior Livestock show in Waco and was traveling back with a stock trailer filled with show Brangus. Unfortunately, the cows that survived the accident were severely injured and had to be dispatched.

“A special thanks to the civilians who self-dispatched to help take care of the livestock and the family's possessions that had been strown throughout the crash site. I believe some of them were somehow connected to the Junior Livestock Show, but several trucks and livestock trailers were showing up before we knew it. They were a massive help to the Florida family. Some of them even went to the hospital. Our chaplains went to be with those at Christus and helped them acquire accommodations while they were here. A KPD Chaplin is in Tyler today to assist the family from Louisiana. This is what makes ETX Texas GREAT! Texans being Texans!

“Sgt. Tim Dukes overheard the Florida father asking about the ability to rent a vehicle. We found it impossible to rent a car on Sunday evening. Knowing the family needed a truck, he had his wife bring his personal truck to them. He gave them the keys to his 3/4 truck and told them to use it as needed. Today, (July 1) we are grateful to hear from the Dad who finally made it to his daughter's side in Dallas. We've learned she will not require surgery! Amid a tragedy, you see good people doing good things!

“Be careful on the roadways. Always wear your seatbelt and prepare yourself for long trips. Life can change in the blink of an eye.”

On July 1, Laura Lee Taylor shared information about the accident on Facebook: “Thank you to everyone who has reached out to help our friends the Mickey Bandi family who was in a tragic accident with show cattle yesterday outside Longview/Kilgore, Texas leaving the National Jr. Brangus Show/Brangus Futurity in Waco. God had his hand on them if you look at the truck it is a very bad deal.

“When I got the call yesterday from Lori Bandi she said they had been in a wreck and needed help. She said they were okay and I asked if we could come get the cattle off the trailer. Then she started crying and said all the cattle died. I have been friends with Mickey since 2000 when we met at the University of Florida. We have begged this family to bring their girls to the National Jr. show for several years and they had such a good week at their first NJBS and did it with bred and owned cattle. My heartbreaks because they have worked so hard the last several years and studied genetics.

“I would like to thank Shelby Corbett Conley  and the entire GKB crew and their intern friends for going to them immediately. Thank you to Lori Edwards-Dunkerley and  Kyle Caldwell and the International Brangus Breeders Association for helping arranging lodging while they were getting checked out at the local hospital. Lexi was airlifted to Dallas. She is going to be okay, but she was on the driver backseat and is very blessed to be alive.Thank you to Chris McKee and Coy Miller family for helping the Bandi’s.

“Thank you to Gina Fontenot Gill for sending Jason Taylor and their church. People have washed clothes and picked up stuff off the side of I-20.

“The Brangus Community has stepped up and is helping this family in so many ways to help replace equipment and cattle. Stay tuned for more opportunities to help. Please keep them and all the families traveling home in your prayers.

“Out of respect to this family, please do not call them. They are trying to coordinate things with their family at this time and know you all love them. Several people we know are on the ground near Dallas helping them.”

The International Junior Brangus Breeders Association is putting together a benefit auction to support the Bandi family. The sale will be posted on Smart Auctions.

Bandi, Brangus, crash