Upinderjit Minhas and his wife Jasleen are shown in a photo from Upinderjit’s Facebook profile page. Three members of a Calgary family are dead and three others are injured after a highway crash during a trip to visit relatives in Texas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Upinderjit Minhas MANDATORY CREDIT

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Three generations of a family were on their way to visit relatives in Houston last week when their minivan and a semi-truck collided head-on, killing three and injuring four others.

Texas authorities say the van carrying six members of the Minhas family from Calgary appears to have drifted into oncoming traffic Saturday morning northwest of Amarillo.

Upinderjit Minhas, who was driving, died in hospital, as did his six-year-old son Mehar Partap. The man’s mother, Nirmal, 68, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Minhas’s wife, Jasleen, and daughters Mehakdeep, 10, and Japuleen, 8, were taken to hospital. The mother and her eight-year-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the girl was released.

The eldest daughter was gravely injured with broken bones all over her body and remains in hospital in Lubbock, Tex.

The 57-year-old truck driver was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

“It’s very hard to accept this,” Harcharan Parhar, whose brother-in-law is married to one of Upinderjit Minhas’s sisters, said Tuesday.

RELATED: Former Humboldt Bronco and family die in car crash

The family was in Texas to visit Jasleen Minhas’s parents in Houston, Parhar said.

“I believe their plan was to fly over there. But then they decided instead of flying, why don’t they go by van and then they can visit other places, because they had two weeks?”

Upinderjit Minhas would have turned 39 on Tuesday, said Parhar. Minhas came to Canada from India when he was a teenager and studied at DeVry University in Calgary.

He had a job with a financial firm that took him all around the world.

“He was a very intelligent boy,” said Parhar.

He described Nirmal Minhas as a ”very nice, very polite lady,” who was always happy and smiling.

Parhar said he’ll always remember Mehar Partap’s curly hair and smiling face.

“He was a very cute boy.”

Parhar said he spoke to Jasleen Minhas on Tuesday and she said she doesn’t remember anything after the van and truck collided with a bang because she was unconscious.

“What happened, nobody knows,” he said. “Something happened suddenly in seconds.”

He said several relatives have flown to Texas from Calgary and Toronto.

RELATED: Motorcycle driver dies in a head-on collision near Oliver

Sgt. Dan Beusing with the Texas Department of Public Safety said the collision occurred on a two-lane secondary highway, which was dry at the time. He said the sun is unlikely to have been in the driver’s eyes at that hour.

“From the witness statement of the driver of the 18-wheeler, the minivan just turned into his lane,” Beusing said.

“Of course he doesn’t know what happened, but he said it looked like someone may have fell asleep.”

He said state troopers are investigating, but won’t question the mother until she is ready.

“It’s a tough thing to start asking questions at this point. It might be a while before they get a chance to interview her some more.

“It’s just a really, really tragic event.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: A new Hive climbing/fitness facility coming to Surrey in 20,000-sq.-ft. space

‘Bouldering’ and other activities planned at site near Pattullo Bridge

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

PHOTOS: Surrey teacher’s annual fitness fundraiser raises $23K in six years

‘Zumbathon’ led by Elaine Chong draws 350 people to Fleetwood Park Secondary gym

Police investigating after 14-year-old boy pepper sprayed at Surrey mall

Surrey RCMP say two males fled the scene before officers arrived on scene at Guildford Town Centre

Delta’s first cricket pitch slated for Delview Park

About 200 active players in the city are playing on BC Mainland Cricket League teams in other cities

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read