Crime

Woman who allegedly ‘wasn’t paying a lot of attention’ charged in crash that killed four

Israel Avelar and sons Kevin, Daniel and Matthew died in a crash near Carthage, Texas, on May 21. Hilda Avelar and daughter Kimberly Avelar, 11, were injured.
Israel Avelar and sons Kevin, Daniel and Matthew died in a crash near Carthage, Texas, on May 21. Hilda Avelar and daughter Kimberly Avelar, 11, were injured. Photo provided

A Louisiana woman was arrested Monday on four counts of criminally negligent homicide in connection with a crash that killed four members of a Lexington family in Texas in 2016.

Brenda Lea Kenner, 61, has been indicted in connection with the crash that killed Israel Avelar, 46, and his three sons, Kevin, 17, Daniel, 13, and Matthew, 6, on May 21, 2016, according to The Panola (Texas) Watchman.

Israel Avelar’s wife, Hilda Avelar, 11-year-old daughter, Kimberly, were injured in the crash, as was his mother, Lazara “Sarah” Abaraca.

Officials said at the time that the family was traveling on Hwy. 315 near Carthage, Texas, and had slowed down to allow a vehicle in front of them to turn off the highway when their van was hit from behind and pushed into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer.

The family was heading back home to Lexington after attending Israel Avelar’s graduation from a Houston Bible institute the day before.

Kenner, of Farmerville, La., was arrested Monday and released the same day, jail records show.

Court records indicate that she was indicted in February 2017.

A district attorney told the Panola newspaper that Kenner “wasn’t paying a lot of attention evidently” when her vehicle hit the Avelars’ van from behind.

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