National News

4-year-old in coma after crash kills mom, sister

Posted July 17, 2018 1:03 p.m. EDT

— A 4-year-old boy is in a coma following a triple-fatal crash over the weekend near Hankinson, N.D., that killed his mother, 5-year-old sister and a motorist in another vehicle.

Flor Avila, 24, of Fargo, was driving her two children, Reeve Avila, 4, and Kayleen Avila, 5, home about 11:15 a.m. Sunday, July 15, after visiting family in Pipestone, Minn., when they were struck head-on by a pickup truck.

The truck, a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, was driven by 15-year-old Connor Radtke, of West Fargo. He was headed south when the truck went off the edge of Interstate 29, five miles south of Hankinson, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Radtke overcorrected and lost control of the truck, crossed the median and collided head-on with the northbound 2000 Buick Park Avenue driven by Flor Avila, the patrol said.

Radtke was injured and taken to Essentia Health in Fargo. His passenger and father, James Radtke, 45, of West Fargo, died at the scene, the patrol said.

Flor and Kayleen Avila also died at the scene. Reeve was flown to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, the patrol said.

Reeve, who's in a medically-induced coma at the hospital, suffered fractures in his skull and in both legs, family friend Elena Vazquez said Monday, July 16.

Vazquez said the family has not been told when Reeve could be taken out of the coma. Hospital staff wants to make sure the swelling in his skull goes down before they do anything, she said.

In the wake of the tragedy, Vazquez said the Avila family is trying to be strong for Reeve, like Flor was for her two children as a single parent.

"She became a mom at a young age, and she gave them the best life she could," Vazquez said. "She left her son behind, and we are going to keep her memory alive for him."

Vazquez said Kayleen was a spitting image of her mom and shared Flor's love for clothes and makeup.

"She was a diva, just like her mom. She liked to dress up with Flor. She loved her dresses. She loved her shoes," Vazquez said.

Denise Avila, Flor's older sister, said Flor was strong for everybody in the family when they needed it, and now it's their turn to do that for her.

A GoFundMe webpage was started for the Avila family. The funds raised will go toward medical expenses for Reeve and funeral costs. Donations to the Avila family can be made here:

The crash has left the Radtke family reeling as well. A GoFundMe page was created to help them with medical and funeral costs.

James Radtke and his wife are the parents of three teenage children. "James and Lisa raised their family together being each other's rock. They worked tirelessly to ensure their children had the best life," the site said.

Donations to the Radtke family can be made here: