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‘I have no one’: Distraught mother speaks out after her husband and 2 children – aged 3 years and 9 months old – were killed in crash

Late Lavell and kids

A grieving mom told vigil-goers Wednesday evening of her endless sorrow at losing her husband and two children in a horrific crash on a Los Angeles freeway.

‘Every day is a struggle. I mean, I have to take it second by second, not even hour by hour or day by day,’ Niya Mann told KTLA, as she reflected on the loss of Lavell Mann, 33, and their daughter Logan, three, and nine-month-old son Legend.

Lavell, a fitness trainer, was driving his children Saturday when their Jeep hit the back of a tanker truck on the 91 Freeway in Artesia, struck the center divider and flipped over.

Struggle: Niya Mann (pictured in white top) said she was living ‘second by second’ since losing her husband and two children in a tragic car accident Saturday. She was speaking at an LA vigil attended by hundreds

Loved: Fitness trainer Lavell Mann (pictured, with daughter Logan, three, and nine-month-old son Legend), 33, was described as trustworthy and loved by those at the vigil. He and both kids died in the crash

Vigil: Many of those attending the vigil wore red, representing Lavell’s outgoing nature and love of flamboyant fashion. It was held outside the fitness center where the much-loved local favorite worked.

‘It’s just tough knowing that I don’t have my husband to talk to about my kids, or my kids to talk to about their father,’ she said. ‘I have no one.’

Hundreds joined the devastated mother for a candlelight vigil outside Lavell’s former place of employment, No Limits Sports and Fitness Academy in Signal Hill, at 6:30pm Wednesday.

Many there wore red in memory of Lavell, who was described as an outgoing character who often wore bright colors.

And although his dedication to fitness gave the Long Beach father-of-two an ‘intimidating’ look, he was described as trustworthy, loyal, motivational and loved by those that knew him, CBS reported.

‘I met him eight years ago with my lovely wife Stephanie and once a week for eight years…’ one man said, before being overcome with emotion. He concluded: ‘I loved Lavelle.’


Crash: The crash occurred at night time Saturday, when Lavell’s Jeep struck the rear of a gas truck and flipped over the center divide on an LA freeway

Caring: Although his physique may have looked intimidating, Lavell's friends and family said he was kind, caring and a wonderful motivator

Caring: Although his physique may have looked intimidating, Lavell’s friends and family said he was kind, caring and a wonderful motivator

Michael Mann, Lavell’s father, said: ‘I want you to remember about my son that he was a God-fearing man, first off, and that he was a caring person, and to know Lavell is to love Lavell.’

But those words did little to comfort Niya Mann, who said: ‘My faith right now is the only thing keeping me standing.’

On Tuesday, in the wake of the crash, Alisha Lopez, one of Lavell’s colleagues at No Limits, told NBC Los Angeles, ‘It’s just like losing a family member.’

And Michael Mann told the channel: ‘It was my worst nightmare at that time – and they told me my son was deceased.

‘I asked them, “Where’s my grandbabies?” They said, “They are too.”‘

Niya Mann had a word of warning for all: ‘Don’t ever go to sleep or do anything without saying “I love you” because you never know when that day might come,’ she said.

A GoFundMe page to raise money for the family’s funerals has raised $43,000 in five days.

Nightmare: Lavell’s father, Michael Mann, said his son’s death was his ‘worst nightmare’ at the time – and then he discovered that his grandchildren were gone too


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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field