A mother who survived a horror crash which killed her two sons gave birth to twin girls a year later – and named them in honor of her deceased boys.
Trista Curry, 31, and her daughter Avalon, four, miraculously survived the smash in March 2018 which killed little Camden, nine, and Maxwell, 19 months.
The family were traveling to relatives in Stephen, Minnesota, USA, for Easter, when their SUV collided with a semitrailer truck on the interstate.
Less than a year after the tragedy, Trista gave birth to twin girls Eloise Maxwell and Isla Camden who she named in tribute to their departed brothers.
The dental nurse, of Fargo, North Dakota, said: “I knew something was bad when I didn’t hear my kids crying.
“I kept praying to God to please help, please save my boys.
“My girls are a gift from God because I had so much love to give and nowhere to put it when my boys were taken from me.”
Trista and her children had only been on the road for half an hour on March 25 2018 when their SUV began to slide on the interstate 29 in eastern North Dakota.
“When we headed out that day, the roads were completely fine,” she said.
“The weather got worse really quick. It was sleeting.
“My car just started to slide and the semi behind us saw us sliding and he moved into the right lane.”
What happened next is still a blur for the mum who watched in horror as the bakery delivery vehicle smashed into the right side of her car.
She continued: “I essentially got T-boned.
“I looked up and watched in disbelief as the front of the semi came towards us.
“I was screaming for help.
“Nobody was crying, my boys were gone instantly, there was no screaming or crying or anything like that.”
In the chaos, passersby stopped their cars to come to the family’s aid and called the emergency services.
“They were trying to get my daughter out,” Trista said.
“Once they got my daughter out, they said they were going to start working on me.
“I was crying for them to save my babies but an emergency responder leaned in to the window and told me they were gone.
“I didn’t want to get out of the car.
“I wasn’t going to accept it. I didn’t think that they were just gone, I had no chance to say goodbye or hold them or anything like that.”
Trista suffered five broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a fractured skull in the crash while Avalon was treated for a head trauma and brain bleed.
Trista’s then partner Brian Dean, 32, a former UHaul general manager, passed the crumpled wreck where his two sons had lost their lives on his way to hospital, to see Trista and Avalon.
No charges were brought against either Trista or Michael Soyring, 50, the driver of the semi, for their involvement in the car crash.
The Grand Forks State’s Attorney office concluded that Soyring was driving in a reasonable manner and blamed the smash on poor weather and road conditions.
The loss of her sons did not hit Trista until she left hospital two weeks later and returned home.
She said: “It was awful but I was on a lot of pain medication.
“When I got out of hospital and was off the medication, I went back to our apartment without them and saw all of their stuff.
“It hit me that they were gone.”
Just three months later, Trista discovered she was pregnant with twins and at first the news terrified her.
“I didn’t think I wanted any more kids,” she said.
“I felt like the more kids you have, the more chances that something is going to happen to them.
“When I had the ultrasound, I could tell it was twins right away and I panicked.
“It was a lot to take in, I didn’t want more kids, I just wanted my boys back.”
When Trista gave birth to Eloise Maxwell and Isla Camden on February 18 at Sanford Medical Center, the same hospital where she had been treated following the car crash, she ensured that Camden and Maxwell were represented.
“With Maxwell I had a home birth, but with the twins I opted to be in the hospital because I was terrified of something happening,” she said.
“I was bawling when they were born.
“All the hospital staff knew about the boys.
“We had t-shirts made for Avalon saying ‘big sister’ and a t-shirt with the boys on it saying ‘big brothers in heaven’.
“It made me feel like they were there.
“I still have a seat for them at our dining table – and I have a picture of them on the counter so we never forget them.
“I was actually really upset when I found out I was having girls.
“I wanted to be a boy mum again.
“But I think it’s for the best that they are girls and I knew that Camden and Maxwell were fluid names that would work for girls too.
“I knew immediately that I wanted their names involved.”
Trista paid tribute to her two boys, describing Camden as a fantastic big brother and Maxwell as a baby who could light up a room.
“Camden was such a good person,” she said.
“He was super compassionate and sincere and kind.
“I always thought he was going to change the world.
“He told me that he wanted to make enough money as an NFL player or YouTuber to start a homeless shelter.
“Maxwell had the most perfect little dimples, an infectious smile and giggle.
“Everyone said he could light up a room.
“They would have been over the moon to have two little sisters.”
Sadly Trista and Brian split in October 2018 with the mum blaming their grief for the end of their relationship.
She said: “Losing kids is hard for anybody to cope with and people grieve in different ways.
“It either breaks a couple or brings you closer together.
“Sadly Brian and I didn’t make it but we co-parent our children together.”
The mum set up charity CamdentotheMax in honor of her boys.
She arranged a toy drive that donated over a thousand toys to Sanford Children’s Hospital and the organization encourages people to participate in random acts of kindness.
She said: “If you want a better world, then be better.
“Do anything to spread kindness.
“After the accident, people reached out to me and even the smallest gestures can make such a difference.”
Trista is speaking out about her experience to offer support to other parents who find themselves suddenly bereaved.
She said: “I’m not far along enough in my grief to give people advice but I do know as a mother who lost two kids, all I want to do is talk about them and say their names.
“Some people act like it is taboo to mention Camden and Maxwell.
“But I’m big on telling people to say their names, ask about them and let me tell stories about them.
“All you can do when your kids are gone is talk about them.”