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'I feel empty': Loved ones remember Shawnee mother and sons killed in boating accident

Maribel Moran and sons
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-06 23:21:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Besides the love for her children, Maribel Moran enjoyed being outdoors. She'd often talk about it with her daughter and sister.

So, it wasn't out of the ordinary that on a hot day Moran and her family would make a trip to enjoy the water.

On Saturday, the family from Shawnee went to the Neosho River near the John Redmond Reservoir in Coffey County.

"They went out to the lake a lot but never had a boat before, so I believe this was their first time taking that boat," Narda Lyons, Maribel Moran’s sister, said.

Officials believe the boat stalled as it approached the Burlington city dam.

The rapid waters caused Moran's husband to lose control of the boat and the impact sent everyone overboard. Maribel and her two sons, Ezra and Mason, died in the crash.

At the hospital, only Sharp survived.

"I feel empty. I feel completely empty right now. I don't know, I don't have any words. I'm just trying to be strong for her. Because I know that's what my sister would want me to do," Lyons said.

The sudden loss of Moran's young sons brings immense sadness.

"They like to say how much they love us. They, they really enjoy doing that," Andres Matos, Moran's daughter said. "And they, they would tell me how much they love me all the time and I did the same thing too and I’m grateful I was able to talk to them before that."

The boating accident serving as a reminder of the fragility of life.

"I don't want anyone else to go through the same thing that we're going through and it's going be a long process, but I really hope people appreciate their family more. It's really hard," Matos said.

Sharp is out of the hospital.

Relatives have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral costs and other expenses.