KINGMAN - Three members of a Golden Valley family died Sunday in a head-on collision with a car driving the wrong way on U.S. 95 in Southern Nevada.
It took the Clark County Coroner's Office more than two days to identify the remains of Joy Howell, 33, and her two sons, Jesse, 13, and Justin, 9.
The trio was returning from a rabbit show in Reno at about 11 p.m. Sunday in their Toyota van when the crash occurred.
The driver of a Buick sedan was driving the wrong way when he struck the van. Both vehicles erupted in flames. The driver of the Buick also died, but authorities have not identified him.
The crash occurred about 10 miles from the rural town of Amargosa Valley north of Las Vegas.
The Howell brothers were active in 4-H.
According to Gerald Olson, Mohave County's 4-H Youth Development extension agent with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Joy Howell was a project leader in goat, reptile and clover kid and a previous goat project director.
Jesse and Justin were members of the Stockton Hill Herd 4-H club and were active in the rabbit projects. Both boys loved summer 4-H camp, said Olson.
Jesse had been a member of the club for years, he said. This was Justin's first year in 4-H.
Joy Howell was a homeschooling mother and animal lover who owned a horse, pig and lizards, according to the family's pastor, Brian Van Dyke of the Kingman Christian Church. She and her husband were active in the congregation.
"Their life really revolves around their faith and their church," Van Dyke said.
Van Dyke said Tony Howell last heard from his family a few hours before the crash and started contacting law enforcement when they didn't arrive home around midnight. He heard about the wreck Monday morning.
Amid the destruction at the crash scene, which included burned animal cages, rescuers found a lone surviving rabbit that had been ejected from the van. The animal's gray fur was singed and she has an injured leg but is otherwise healthy, firefighters said.
A firefighter has taken the rabbit home to care for her and has named her Lucky, said Seth Edmondson, a volunteer with the Amargosa Valley Fire Department. The rabbit is pregnant, and Edmondson expects her to give birth soon.
A fundraiser has been planned and an account has been established at Chase Bank to help with expenses, said Olson. Donations can be made to the Howell Family Fund at any Chase branch.
The Cedar Hills 4-H club will host a benefit car wash Friday at the Taco Bell on Stockton Hill Road with all proceeds going to Tony Howell.
Those interested in participating are asked to call Rebekah Russell at (928) 530-3717 or (928) 692-1270.