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Arlington mother, daughter killed in Oklahoma crash

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following article posted in the Fort Star Telegram


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Kelly Spielman and her two children drove to an Oklahoma veterinary clinic Aug. 25 to get treatment for their dogs.

It wasn?t unusual for the Arlington family, which was always taking in strays or rescuing dogs from shelters.

After visiting the clinic near Calera, Okla., the group was just about to head home.

But as Spielman?s Kia was turning west off U.S. 69/75, it was struck by a southbound Dodge pickup driven by 21-year-old Jesus Garcia of Mesquite, according to the?Durant Daily Democrat. {{more}}

Spielman?s 13-year-old daughter, Skyla, a student at Kennedale Junior High School, was in the front seat and died at the scene. Kelly Spielman, 33, died a week later from her injuries.

Her 6-year-old son, Riley, remains in intensive care at Children?s Medical Center of Dallas. He faces a lengthy recovery, relatives said.

?They were coming back and were stopping in Calera for some gas or food,? said Joshua Fisher of Southlake, Skyla?s father.

Two of three dogs in the vehicle also died.

A memorial service for the mother and daughter was held Wednesday night at?Park Springs Bible Churchin Arlington.

Garcia was charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree manslaughter, with bail set at $250,000 on each count, according to the?Democrat.

Garcia told police he had used marijuana the day before the crash, and a leafy green substance believed to be marijuana was found in the pickup, according to an affidavit obtained by the Durant newspaper. A blood sample was also taken from Garcia.

?They were at a stoplight, but the speed limit along there was close to freeway speed,? Joshua Fisher said. ?The driver of the pickup was coming back from the casino. My understanding is he had been there all night. He just drifted over into the turn lane and hit them. In my opinion, it was just an accident, a terrible tragedy.?

A website has been created to raise?money?for the Spielman family for medical costs.

Besides caring for animals, Kelly Spielman had become an avid photographer and was always trying to help others. She and Skyla were involved with Mission Arlington.

At Kennedale Junior High, Skyla had been chosen to help with orientation for seventh-graders.

She was also active at Park Springs Bible Church and volunteered this summer with?World Relief Fort Worth, a nonprofit evangelical organization where she helped refugees who live in Arlington apartment complexes.

?They would bring them food and go door to door,? Joshua Fisher said. ?Skyla would try to work with the kids. She would spend time with them, trying to help however she could.?

Joshua Fisher said Skyla was already talking about college.

?She wanted to go to Harvard, but she wanted to be a teacher,? he said. ?She thought that was the best way she could have an impact on people.?

She was always encouraging Riley, her little brother, to read.

?He always wanted to go play, but she would have him read every time she watched him,? her father said. ?He went from where he should be at his age to being advanced with her help.?

Joshua Fisher said friends and relatives are trying to offer support to P.J. Spielman, Kelly?s husband, as he cares for Riley.

?He?s a remarkable little boy,? Joshua Fisher said. ?Everybody is pulling for him.?

Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698 Twitter:?@fwhanna

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