BEDFORD, Ohio - Bedford Police are investigating a two-car crash that claimed the lives of a Maple Heights pregnant mom and her two young children.
Two other children were injured in the crash, one critically.
The deadly crash happened Friday just before 10 p.m. in the area of Northfield Road and Berwyn Street.
According to police, a 48-year-old driver was headed south on Route 8 when he blew through a red light, crashing into the vehicle driven by Maria Thorpe, 30, and her four daughters.
Maria Thorpe, 30 and her two children identified as Zariah Roberts, 8, and Zyanah Roberts, 5, were pronounced dead at the scene. A third child, 10, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, The fourth child, 12, was treated and released.
"I'm still in shock, you know. I'm still thinking it's a dream, but I know it's real," said Alana Johnson, a close friend and neighbor.
Johnson told NewsChannel5 Thorpe was more like a family member, describing her daughters as best friends with the victim's children as well.
"She was a good mom, she opened her door to every kid on the street. If they needed something to eat, if they were hungry, she would give them something," said Johnson.
Johnson said she and others had to explain what happened to Thorpe's 12-year-old daughter after she woke up in a hospital bed not knowing her mother and sisters died in the crash. Johnson, who was getting ready to see Thorpe's 10-year-old daughter Saturday, told NewsChannel5 the young girl is under 72-hour watch.
"I just can't say it enough, just keep 'Maya' in your prayers," Johnson said regarding the 10-year-old.
Other neighbors, like Kathleen Polley said, "As a mother myself, I'm just lost for words because she was a nice, caring individual even though I didn't know her on a personal basis."
Polley and others told NewsChannel5 Thorpe never left her kids alone, Polley saying, "She would cross the kids across the street to tell them that she loved them on a daily basis."
The male driver, who has not been identified to the public, was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released into police custody.
There are no charges at this time, however Bedford police said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.
Thorpe's boyfriend told NewsChannel5 off camera Saturday, Maria was about six months pregnant and was on her way to pick him up from work in Beachwood, Ohio when the fatal crash occurred.
No announcements have been made yet on funeral arrangements.
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