By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A mom and her two young kids, gone in an instant.

Kiara Jones and her two children, 3-year-old Lily and 2-year-old Joshua, died in a crash on Saturday after their car crossed the median on Dunkirk Lane in Maple Grove. A male passenger in the car survived.

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Their family is now focused on how the three of them lived, not how they died.

“I’m going miss being a father and grandfather to them. They were always on my mind when I move about, when I see things, you know, make me think of them. I enjoyed coming home with things for them, you know, I love to see the smile on they face when I come in,” Carl Billingsley said.

The trio was one part of a large family.

“And they knew every one of us loved them, we always told them that,” Lakira Kent said.

How they died is so horrific, they can’t help but to cry. But those tears turn to laughter once they remember the good times they all shared.

“She definitely want us happy because she didn’t want to see us cry,” Ryan Kendrick said.

This family says Kiara was full of love.

Kiara Jones with Lily and Joshua (credit: CBS)

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“She always made your day no matter what she was going through. If she was around and somebody else was going through something, she’d put that aside and comfort you and make sure that, you know, you felt that love, and you came back to feeling, you know, feeling how you needed to feel, so she always made us laugh,” Penny Middleton said.

Her laugh and smile were passed down to her children, who were the shining stars of the family.

“They knew they had no worries, and they knew they was loved,” Debra Delaney said.

Kiara made sure to spread that love the day of the accident, stopping to let the children see their auntie.

“She came and we talked and we laughed like we always do, and I hugged the kids, kissed the kids, I told them I love them, I told her, you know, be safe,” Kent said.

Kiara was driving when her car veered across several lanes of traffic near Dunkirk and Lawndale lanes in Maple Grove, hitting a tree. The impact cut the car in half.

Pictures and video will help them focus on happier times so sadness doesn’t overcome them.”

“We just got to love each other, that’s all right now,” Middleton said.

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A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with the cost of three funerals.

Reg Chapman