Woman with Texoma ties dies in Maui wildfire
(KTEN) — The Hawaiian island of Maui is reeling from catastrophic wildfires, and the death toll is rising. Officials there say the number of lives lost is now up to 59.
Among the casualties: A woman from Texoma. Terri Thomas lived in Grayson and Marshall counties for years. She moved to Lahaina, Hawaii, with her beloved dogs a few years ago. Lahaina was at the epicenter of the fast-moving wildfires fanned by fierce winds spun out from Hurricane Dora.
Witnesses said Thomas, another man and an elderly woman were in a car trying to escape the flames; Terri Thomas, 62, didn't make it.
Terra Thomas, the victim's niece, released this statement on behalf of her family:
"My aunt's name was Terri Elaine Thomas. She was born July 6, 1961.
Our family was informed by eyewitness account that Terri was attempting to evacuate with an elderly neighbor, a male friend, and Terri's beloved dogs. Their vehicle was unable to move, and as flames rapidly approached their SUV, one of the passengers fled the vehicle. However, my aunt was unable to exit, leaving her stranded as the fire engulfed her vehicle. Explosions were happening everywhere with four walls of fire all around them. Her vehicle was later ID'd by a neighbor, who saw the remains of my aunt and her female friend.
Terri was a beautiful, loving, and caring member of our family, and member of the Lahaina community for nearly 30 years. She was outgoing, funny, and always willing to extend help to others in need.
Our family has many questions on how this scenario unfolded. We want answers to what happened, and why there were no evacuation alerts that could have prevented the loss of Terri and her fellow friends and neighbors."
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