The surviving children of a Pasco County couple killed in a Polk County crash last week will be raised by their grandparents in Dade City, family friends said.
The Rev. Nathaniel Sims and his wife, Ardell, will care for the daughters of Sims’ son, Justin, and daughter-in-law, Sharonda, who were killed in the March 11 accident. The couple’s 5-year-old son, Savion, also died in the crash.
Ariel, 7; Kitty, 2; and Arienne, 3 months, will live with the Rev. Sims, who is the president of the Pasco County NAACP and pastor of St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dade City.
Justin Sims, 31, was driving a 1998 Buick Century westbound on Deen Still Road when he went through a stop sign at State Road 33 and was struck by a semi-trailer, which was northbound on State Road 33, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Justin Sims, his 28-year-old wife and 5-year-old son were killed. All three were in the front of the car and were not wearing seat belts, deputies reported.
Ariel Sims and Kitty Sims were flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando for treatment where they both are recovering following surgery. When originally admitted, both were listed in critical condition.
A funeral will take place March 22 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Dade City. A wake will be held at 10 a.m., followed by the funeral.
The youngest child, Arienne Sims, was properly restrained in her car seat in the back seat of the car, deputies said. She was uninjured and released to the Rev. Sims last week.
The driver of the semi-trailer, Antonio Garcia, 31, of Tampa, was not injured.
The wreck took place just after midnight as the family was returning to Dade City after shopping at an outlet mall in Orlando. After the collision, the car was pinned beneath the semi-trailer and dragged about 400 feet, deputies said.