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Driver in triple fatality crash identified, mourned

By chirst
March 20, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Updated March 20, 2013 at 10:21 p.m.

Eric Taylor Sr.

When Cheryl Taylor heard about the fatal wreck on state Highway 185 on Monday, she said she felt bad for the three people killed.

A few hours later, however, she heard through a friend that her son, Eric Taylor, 39, was the driver of the Honda Pilot that crashed and burned.

Eric Taylor, of Victoria, and his two passengers, Candace Valley, 45, and Christopher Startz, 22, a mother and son both of Port Lavaca, were pronounced dead at the scene, said Department of Public Safety Trooper Gerald Bryant.

"I didn't want to believe it at first," Cheryl Taylor said. "I was hoping it wasn't him, but as we put two and two together, we realized it was him."

Her son worked in construction, she said, and had three children ages 11, 14 and 16.

"He would go to games with them. They played football, basketball and track. They liked watching movies together. They had a very good relationship with him," Cheryl Taylor said about her son and his children, saying the kids are struggling with his sudden death.

The DPS report indicates the Honda, traveling south, went into the northbound lane, where it collided head-on with a Ford pickup. No cause is given for the crash in the report, but witnesses said they heard a tire pop before the collision.

The wreck is under investigation.

Cheryl Taylor said her son would play dominoes with his father, Steve Taylor Sr. She said the family has played the game since he was a little boy, and she can't believe he won't come over again to play.

Victoria Advocate reporter Sonny Long contributed to this story.

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