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.
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
‘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.’
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.