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Mother and five children killed in crash near Tonopah

Natisha Moffitt and her kids
Posted at 9:09 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 11:31:46-04

BUCKEYE, AZ — A devastating crash near Tonopah last week took the lives of a Valley mother and her five children.

The family was driving from Phoenix to San Diego ahead of the holiday weekend. Now their family is working to bring them back home to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they are originally from.

Natisha Moffitt and her kids left Phoenix on Friday and were following Natisha's best friend, Ayana, who was in a separate car with her four children.

"He killed my babies," says Ynes Morrow, Natisha's mother.

"Ayana got a flat tire and Natisha, she knows how to fix cars; she knew how to do flat tires. So, she was going to get the tire fixed, that's the only reason why they pulled off to the side of the road," says Morrow.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials say they were driving on Interstate 10 near Tonopah when a tractor-trailer slammed into both of their cars.

The crash killed Natisha and her children and left everyone in the other vehicle in the hospital.

"It's a dream still, I haven't woke up yet," says Morrow.

Natisha's mother spoke with ABC15 alongside Natisha's husband, who wasn't there at the time of the crash.

"You can't get a grasp of every single person's individuality and how great they were. If I lost one, it was catastrophic, two... we're talking about six people who individually were super great, each and every one of them in their own different ways. You couldn't put together a family like that, just like, trying to do it," says Malik Thomas-Blakney, Sr.

Natisha was 35 years old, a cosmetologist, a wife of eight years, and a mother. Jo'syia was the oldest at 17, Giovanni and Santari were both 16, Malik Jr. was eight years old and Makayla was just five.

"She was the baby girl but she was the only girl, so she was the boss. She got everything she wanted. Jojo played sports; he played football. Giovanni, he liked to draw, do art. He loved flowers and plants and stuff," says Morrow.

Natisha had moved to Phoenix two years ago from Michigan, where the rest of her family lives. Now they are seeking answers from thousands of miles away.

"Some people that were there tried to contact me and told me that one of the boys was still breathing. He was trying to talk to him and trying to comfort him until the paramedics got there. So, I need information," says Morrow.

Natisha's family says they can't move forward until they bring all six back home.

"I'm just trying to get them home, right now," says Morrow.

To make that possible, they must find a funeral home in Phoenix that can connect with a funeral home in Grand Rapids. The holiday weekend has kept that from happening.

If you would like to help the family, you can visit their GoFundMe page.