GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK/CNN) - The lives of a family of four in Texas have been changed forever after a road rage driver opened fire on their car, igniting fireworks inside that engulfed the car in flames.
Jasmin Wolford, Reginald Smith and their two sons are still recovering, months after the July 4 incident. The boys, 2-year-old Messiah and 1-year-old Bentley, were severely burned.
“They haven’t even been here that long, and the world has already been so cruel,” Wolford said. “Could you imagine having such a good day with your kids, and then in a blink of an eye, all that changes to where you can’t recognize your kids?”
The family was on their way to a party when deputies say 18-year-old Bayron Rivera shot into their car, igniting fireworks and catching it on fire, following a road rage dispute.
Rivera is now charged with four counts of aggravated assault.
Three young men – 17-year-old Desmond Davis, 21-year-old Jason Butler and 24-year-old Marquis Brown – were driving past when they saw the car on fire and stopped to help.
“The baby was screaming to me, talking about, ‘I burn. It hurts. I burn,’” recalled Butler on July 5.
The good Samaritans rushed the family to a nearby emergency room, where they were taken by helicopter to Shriners Hospital in Galveston, Texas.
The family has been recovering at Shriners ever since.
"To go from getting up and going to not being able to take a step – to watch them struggle to do that was very hard," Wolford said. “Sometimes they get frustrated, and it sucks because how do you explain to a kid why you can’t do this anymore?”
While the journey has been difficult and full recovery will take a while longer, the family is in good spirits. They say they’re thankful for their doctors and everything that has been done for them.
“This is not the end. This is just kind of a new beginning,” Wolford said.
The family will remain at the hospital for the foreseeable future. Wolford says Shriners will continue to work with Messiah and Bentley until they’re adults.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.