Grief counselors were on hand at Pinewood Elementary School in Winter Haven to help students cope with the loss of a 6-year-old classmate -- one of three kids killed in a weekend accident in Poinciana.
Anthony Rubio was sitting in the backseat with his 15-month old sister when his stepfather, Javier Aguilar, lost control of the car and hit another car head-on.
The crash occurred about 8:40 p.m. on Cypress Parkway just west of Laurel Avenue in Poinciana, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthony was killed in the crash. Leila Persaud, 6, and Maylee Persaud, 8, who were sitting in the backseat of the other car, were also killed.
"He was precious to a lot of people," said Kim Koehlert, Anthony's grandmother. "Everybody loved him."
Kim and her husband, Pete, got the call from sheriff's deputies about midnight, saying there had been a terrible accident.
They're now trying to hang on to all the memories they made with their smiling grandson.
"He actually got me turned on to Batman. All day yesterday at the hospital I wore my Batman shirt, and today I'm wearing purple because that's his favorite color," Pete Koehlert said.
Anthony's mother, Brittney Collins, 25, and stepfather, Javier, remain in the hospital. Brittney suffered broken bones that require surgery and Javier suffered serious head trauma.
For the Koehlert family, this is like reliving a nightmare. Just five years ago, their other daughter, Ashley, was also killed in a car accident.
"I don't know how much more my family can take," Kim said.
When deputies arrived at the scene, the victims were being helped by other drivers and EMS. The Sheriff’s Office thanks those who stopped to assist, as well as deputies and emergency responders from Osceola County.
Investigators believe the wet roads may have played a role in the crash.