Reporter: James Gherardi | R.J. Burnette
Callands, VA - The mother of three young children is dead following a tragic accident in Pittsylvania County Wednesday morning.
State Police say Leigh Horvath, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene which was route 750 in Callands.
The mother was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle after it flipped. Her three children ages 8, 7 and 3 remained screaming, trapped inside.
"I could hear children screaming, 'Get me out, get me out, I can't get out,'" said Tina Tompkins. The car crashed in her front yard.
"We kept trying to get it open, and we couldn't get the doors open, and finally another gentleman stopped and we were able to get the doors open and get the kids out. My wife went and got them a blanket and some pillows, and laid them down, all of them had head trauma," said witness Alan Tompkins.
"At first she was calm, until she realized that her mom was dead," said Corisa Jeffery, who helped pull children from the car.
Officials say Horvath drove her car around a turn, hit a culvert and overturned. Witnesses ran to the scene, scrambling to help the young children. They say what they saw, they won't soon forget.
"It was horrible, she was lying outside of her car, part of her body was lying outside of her car," said Tompkins.
The 8-year-old boy was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial. He and his siblings sustained what witnesses described as severe head trauma.
"I seen the driver of the vehicle, half way ejected out of the vehicle, and I automatically ran outside, and when I got to the porch, I could hear the three children screaming," said Corisa Tompkins.
Witnesses say speed had to have played a factor. This is the second deadly crash in less than two months at this fatal county intersection. It was a tragic morning for all who witnessed three children lose a mother. "It really hits home when it's close to you like this. You don't think about nothing like that until it happens," said Alan Tompkins.
State police are still investing how this all happened. No word yet on the current condition of the three children.