A three-vehicle accident near Hallettsville, east of San Antonio in Lavaca County left Anabel Salazar mourning the death of her two young sons and their father.

The boys’ father, 39 year-old Felipe Garcia, was taking their sons, 10 year-old Anthony, and 9 year-old Brandon to a Van Halen concert in San Antonio when they were killed Tuesday afternoon. The boys started liking Van Halen after playing the group’s Guitar Hero video game and were excited when their father told them he would take them to the concert. They initially thought they would go to the show in Dallas, but they decided they were going to go to the one in San Antonio because it was closer.

Garcia was driving a Ford Expedition and lost control of the vehicle, which went into a sideways skid, crossed the center strip and collided with an 18-wheeler, says the Texas Department of Public Safety. The collision caused the tractor-trailer rig to hit a Honda CRV. The people in that vehicle, who are from the Dallas/Plano area, sustained minor injuries.

“It was a very hard impact. The truck struck the passenger side of the SUV. The highway was slick with rain and thus authorities could not gauge the exact speed of the Ford Expedition. The cause of the accident will likely be given as driving at an unsafe speed.” Trooper Gerald Bryant said.

Also killed in the accident was Christine Salazar, 42, of McAllen, who was riding in the SUV with the Garcias. Authorities identified her as Garcia’s girlfriend.

Garcia was a member of the National Guard and had served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was working at the Amador R. Rodriguez Juvenile Boot Camp in San Benito. “Their dad was a good dad to them. He was a good dad to his boys.” Salazar said of Garcia. Salazar and Garcia were engaged at one time, but had ended their relationship. The boys were spending their summer vacation with their father.

Anthony and Brandon were students at Ben Brite Elementary School, where Salazar is a pre-kindergarten teacher. Anthony was going into fifth grade, Brandon into fourth. “They would go with me to school every morning and come back with me. They were good students. Anthony was a smart kid. He would always get medals. Brandon was smart, too. He was always smiling. Anthony liked collecting Star Wars stuff and Brandon liked collecting Angry Birds stuff and Pokemon.” said Salazar.

She said her sons were looking forward to coming back to Brownsville on Friday because they were going to help with the birthday party for their younger half-brother, Matthew Montoya. Matthew will be turning one. “I told them they were going to take care of the candy bags and they got all excited,” she said through tears. “I am thinking that God gave me my little one for a reason because he knew he was going to take my other two. He (Matthew) is the one I am being strong for right now. I just need prayers.”

Funeral arrangements for Anthony and Brandon are pending under the direction of Buena Vista Funeral Home.

Original story: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/articles/death-141633-mother-father.html