Grieving Virginia mom remembers children killed in crash: ‘Wonderful, beautiful souls’


EMPORIA, Va. (WRIC) – Two grieving mothers are trying to cope with the tragic loss of their children, who were killed in a crash along a Virginia interstate last week.

In an emotional interview, Shaketa Squire said she lost two daughters and her princesses have gone to be with “the King.”

“I had hope that they were still there,” sobbed Squire, recalling what she saw after the wreck along I-95 in Greensville County. “They just looked like they were asleep.”

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for Squire, a mother of four, after last week’s horrific crash. On July 23, Squire was driving on the interstate, headed home, when a Dodge Ram smashed into the back of Squire’s Honda CR-V, with four children inside. Virginia State Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

According to state police, the impact caused Squire’s car to slam into the guardrail and spin out of control, causing the driver of the pickup truck to lose control and overturn in the median.

“I tried to get ’em out (of the car),” said Squire. “And I couldn’t get them out.”

Squire’s 2-year-old daughter miraculously made it out alive by freeing herself from the car seat. Squire said when she came to, her toddler was walking along the interstate crying out for her.

Tragically, Squire’s other two daughters in the car and niece did not make it.

“They was warm but just looked like they was asleep,” Squire said. “There was no life there.”

Azaraia Williams, 10, and Aaliyah Ramsey, 9, died at the scene. Azaraia’s sister, 12-year-old Saraia Squire, died at VCU Medical Center two days after the crash, police said.

“When the officer told me, it just didn’t feel real,” Squire cried. “I kept reliving it at the scene and I keep reliving that noise that I heard from my baby thinking it was a snore, but it wasn’t. I kept reliving all that and I keep reliving it over and over.”

Squire said she prayed hard at the hospital that her oldest would pull through, but when the last test showed no signs of survival, she wanted to make her feel more comfortable.

“I asked if I could wash her up and give her a bath and I put two corn rows in her hair,” Squire said.

Squire said her daughters were inseparable as sisters, always singing, dancing, and painting together. Although the loss is painful, she said she finds peace in knowing her babies are together.

“They were just wonderful beautiful souls,” said Squire.

A “princess service” for the girls is planned for Sunday, Aug. 2, at Greensville Elementary School, which will include a horse and carriage. GoFundMe fundraisers have been posted for Azaraia and Saraia and Aaliyah.

Virginia State Police said a criminal investigation is underway and charges are pending against the driver of the pickup truck, 49-year-old Travis Vigil, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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