TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A small memorial sits on the side of State Route 86, just east of Three Points.
Balloons and small toys have been left behind for 10-year-old Layton Coons and his mother, Sabrina.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said Coons was driving with her son and two daughters, ages one and two-years-old, when her SUV flipped Monday morning, Aug. 12, for “an unknown reason.”
Neither Coons nor her son were wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck, according to the AZDPS, and both were ejected from the SUV.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Coons’s 1-year-old daughter was in critical condition at Banner-University Medical Center. Her 2-year-old daughter had been released from the hospital after suffering minor injuries in the wreck.
Natasha Rivera, a cousin of Sabrina Coons, said the family was driving to a funeral for the husband of a friend. Rivera said the crash happened just about two miles from the family’s home.
“Just the fact that they are not here anymore with us and the way they died is just horrific for our family," Rivera said. “She loved her children to death. She was a great mom, she adored her little girls. Her son was everything to her.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses and for Sabrina’s two daughters.
“Its hard when you have to lay a little boy to rest," Rivera said. “These little girls are the only thing of my cousin, and her husband is going to have a long time to heal and he’s going to need a lot of help to take care of the girls.”
The DPS said the 1-year-old girl was ejected from the SUV and that her car seat was not buckled in correctly. According to officials, the 2-year-old’s car seat was buckled correctly and she was not ejected from the vehicle.
Rivera said she spoke with investigators, looked at the “unrecognizable” car and surveyed the crash scene. She said that, to her, it appeared both car seats were strapped in and the impact caused the ejection.
“Just know that those kids were seatbelted," Rivera said. "They were fastened in a car seat and they were fastened in the vehicle.”
Rivera and her family hopes to one day have answers as to what happened in the moments before their loved ones lost their lives.
“I want to know if there was something else. If, you know, wildlife maybe ran into the road. If my cousin was sick maybe, she didn’t tell nobody about. But, that’s all up in the air. Until we get the autopsy, we won’t know exactly if anything else was involved," Rivera said. "But, I know she loved her kids and she would never drive with them not seat belted in the car.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the DPS said the investigation is ongoing.
Officials have said that impairment does not appear to be a factor.