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Family friend of mother killed in crash talks about loss and donations

  • A Springfield native and her four children are being remembered by family and friends after all five died in a car crash in Miller County Wednesday night.
  • One family friend is talking about why the mother and her children were on the road to begin with.
  • Some local businesses have put out donation jars for the family and Go Fund Me accounts are anticipated.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Inside Springfield's Carriage House restaurant, a jar is sitting near the register. In it are a few loose dollar bills. It's not a ton of money by any means but it's enough to show there are a few people still mourning the loss of Radiance Wright, a 30-year-old mother of four who died with her children in Miller County Wednesday night. 

That kind of support is the kind of thing Wright's surviving family and friends are happy to see today. 

One of those family friends, who chose to only be identified as Naomi, sat down with Ozarks First reporter Melanie Chapman Thursday afternoon.

"I loved their family," she said from a booth at the Carriage House. "They were very close to me. I've been very close to them for... 20-something years. I watched her grow up. She was friends with my kids. They played sports together."

According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Wright was driving her 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor a little after 7 p.m. when it veered off the left side of the road and rolled out of control. 

Wright and two of her four children were thrown from the vehicle.

All but Wright's 3-year-old daughter Patience would be pronounced dead at the scene. Patience would die later that night after she was transferred to Lake Regional Hospital.

"We found out at one o'clock in the morning," Namoi explained.

According to Naomi, Wright and her kids were in transit from their home in Columbia to Wright's hometown of Springfield. 

Naomi says Wright was driving down Wednesday night to attend her sister's graduation from Ozark Technical Community College. 

"I don't know if she looked back to talk to one of the kids and then lost control or what," she wondered Thursday.

Naomi, like Highway Patrol investigators, is still trying to wrap her mind around how the car could have come off the road. It was, according to the Highway Patrol report, the only car involved in the crash.

Not knowing, she says, makes the whole situation that much more difficult. 

"It's just a tragedy," she said.

Seeing those few dollars left in the jar by the Carriage House register, make it slightly easier. 

Naomi isn't sure what'll be next for surviving friends and family. She says a Go Fund Me is expected to launch at some point. 

BELOW: Madison Hever covers the crash that claimed these five lives in Miller County. 

 


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