orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

February 12, 2014

Murder warrant issued for man who killed teen in crash

Mother speaks out on loss of daughter

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

VIDOR — Authorities have issued a murder warrant for a Beaumont man in the death of a teenage girl.

The Vidor Police Department has issued a warrant for murder for Kelvin Lee Roy of Beaumont following a two-vehicle collision late Friday night in Vidor which resulted in the death of 16-year-old Alexandria Bertrand of Vidor. According to an affidavit from the Vidor Police Department, Roy was intentionally trying to kill himself and his girlfriend, Taralynn Brown, also of Beaumont, at the time of the crash.

A major wreck was reported at approximately 9:45 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, at the KCS Railroad intersection of South Main Street and Old Highway 90. According to police reports, a white Honda mini-van being driven by 34-year-old Vidor resident April Bertrand was stopped at the red light at railroad tracks facing south when the Mercury Sable, driven by Roy, was traveling at a high rate of speed and launched over the grade of the tracks and “struck the top of the mini-van.” The crash resulted in Alexandria, affectionately known as Lexy to family and friends, being ejected from the mini-van.

Lexy was transported to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont with what was described as “severe head trauma” and was declared dead Saturday afternoon after tests revealed no brain activity. She reportedly suffered a broken neck and skull fractures.

“Mr. Roy is currently in custody at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility,” said Detective Sgt. L.B. Cupit of the Vidor Police Department. “He was picked up after his release from the hospital on outstanding warrants for marijuana possession. Once he serves his time there, we will be bringing him to Orange County.”

The affidavit states that Roy picked up Brown, a former girlfriend, at her residence in Beaumont and was supposed to take her on a trip to “get some food.” Brown stated to police following the incident that Roy began “acting strange” and “commonly acted this way when he was ‘high’ on ‘dip.’”

Roy began driving on Interstate 10 heading east and continued past Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, at which point Brown asked him where he was going. She state Roy became enraged and driving aggressively.

Brown stated the car continued east and Roy was swerving side to side and nearly crashed into the rear end of another vehicle on the Interstate. At one point, Brown “had her head stuck out of the passenger window screaming for help.”

Roy reportedly refused Brown’s requests to stop and let her exit the vehicle. He exited Interstate 10 at the Vidor exit, where he eventually turned south onto North Main Street.

The affidavit states Brown asked Roy again to let her out of the car to which he responded, “Bitch, I’m gonna kill both of us.”

Brown informed Detective Sgt. L.B. Cupit, following the incident, that she could see the stopped mini-van occupied by Lexy and her mother, April, at the red light at the railroad tracks at South Main and Old Highway 90.

“You’re going to hit the car!” Brown reportedly screamed at Roy, but he replied once again, “Bitch, I’m gonna kill both of us.”

Brown stated she actually heard “the motor get louder” as Roy accelerated the car at the railroad tracks and that Roy “crashed into the stopped mini-van intentionally.” She also said Roy could have swerved to miss the other vehicle, “but chose not to.”

Roy and Brown have a well documented history together. According to information provided by the Vidor Police Department, Brown had an active protective order against Roy since December 2012. Roy has reportedly violated the protective order on two previous occasions before Friday’s incident.

Since Friday’s tragic events, a family has been devastated and a community is mourning.

April Bertrand, Lexy’s mother, said the support of family, friends, and, most especially, has been unbelievable.

“I am so overwhelmed by the love and support from the schools and the community,” April said while fighting back tears. “I love all of these stories I am hearing from the kids from school and I love knowing how many lives she touched and what an impact she had on them. It makes it a little easier knowing how much they loved her too. Just saying thank you to all of these people doesn’t seem like it is enough.”

April described her daughter, Lexy, as a typical happy-go-lucky teenage girl who enjoyed life, especially her family and friends.

“Lexy was always happy, and she cared about people,” Burge added.

April said Lexy had a generous nature and it was evident in the past few weeks.

“She was so excited about being a blood donor at school recently,” April added. “It really made such an impact on her that she wanted to become an organ donor when she started preparing for her driver’s license test. It was a decision she wanted to make.”

Lexy may have not had any brain activity on Saturday, but her body was kept alive through the use of a breathing machine over the weekend as plans were made to harvest organs from her body to help others.

Lexy would have wanted it that way.

Her grandmother, Jan Burge, said Lexy’s heart, liver, both of her kidneys and possibly her pancreas were collected on Monday evening. April said it is bittersweet knowing her daughter is doing so much good for so many others.

“Knowing my daughter is living on in someone else is what propels me to keep going right now,” April added. “It doesn’t take the pain away, but it’s something.”

Not only has Lexy’s passing affected the family. The hallways of Vidor High School were filled with students moving to and from classes and many of them seeing red. Not because of anger, but because of a show of support for Lexy as teachers and students wore the color red, her favorite.

“The students, and even some of the teachers, were taking it pretty rough at school on Monday,” said Dr. Jay Killgo, Vidor ISD superintendent. “We’ve had counselors available for anyone that needed to talk. Everyone deals with grief in their own way, and we wanted counselors there for the kids.

“Getting the students back on track on Tuesday is the toughest part of the process because everyone is still hurting and missing their friend,” Killgo added. “This is going to be something that takes a while for our students to come to terms with and process.”

The community’s show of support began quickly upon the news of Friday’s tragic event.

A candlelight vigil was held on Monday evening at the Raymond Gould Community Center in Vidor, which was attended by dozens of friends, fellow students and even Lexy’s mother, April, and her grandmother, Burge.

“We went to the memorial because we wanted to show our appreciation to everyone for their support,” Burge said. “Plus, April was able to talk to some people and to see the memorial that all of the kids were signing. It made her feel good to know how much everyone cares. We just kept a low-profile because we didn’t too much attention.”

Friends and members of the community are creating fundraising events to help off-set the tremendous medical costs which have accumulated through the ordeal.

H&H Gymnastics Center, 1145 State Highway 12 in Vidor, will be the site of the first fundraising event.

From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14, which is Valentines Day, parents will be able to drop off children for what amounts to a baby-sitting service. The cost is $20 per child, and discounts will be offered for siblings and pizza will be provided. All proceeds will benefit the Bertrand family.

Another event is planned on March 9 at Woods Pavilion with details to be announced.

Donations can be made as well directly at an account set up in April Bertrand’s name, which will be used solely to off-set medical and funeral expenses. Donations can also be made at YouCaring.com under April Bertrand’s name.

For now, a family is trying to cope with the tragic loss of a child and loved one.

“Lexy is a special, sweet girl who will be missed by so many,” Burge added. “Kiss your children and hug each one before they leave your side. Be kind to each other, love one another, and help someone in need. In the blink of an eye, our life can change and you want no regrets.”