What to do if you’ve been in a car accident
When their daughter got in touch to report car trouble late Thursday from Interstate 20, Patrick and Janet Beck did what most parents would.
They left their Grand Prairie house and drove to Leah Beck’s spot on the outside shoulder in Arlington. They pulled in behind her, intending to do what they could to help.
What they could not know then was that a man police allege was drunk was heading east on I-20. At 10:53 p.m., he would drift from the road and slam into the Beck family. Two of the victims were outside their cars; another sat inside. The family’s two cars and the suspect’s car ignited in flames, police said.
Patrick Beck, 55, and Janet Beck, 48, died at the scene, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Leah Beck, 23, died at 3:23 a.m. Friday in an emergency room at Medical City Arlington Hospital. A 2015 graduate of South Grand Prairie High School, she worked at a warehouse and held plans of college and a career in cosmetology.
Jose Castro, 29, of Farmers Branch was arrested on suspicion of three counts of intoxication manslaughter, police said.
Mourners filled the family house Saturday, dropping off food and offering hugs. They recalled Patrick and Janet Beck’s long service in the U.S. Army and their love for each other. The couple would have celebrated 23 years of marriage the next week.
The Beck family attends The Potter’s House church and has a sharp faith.
“This is not a moment of hate,” said Patrick Beck Jr., 21. “This is not a moment of anger.”
His relatives on Saturday smiled as they remembered Patrick Beck Sr.’s passion for preparing food. The Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef spent much of his time in the kitchen.
There was cheesecake. Sandwiches. Just about everything.
“My dad loved to cook,” Patrick Beck Jr. said.
After his retirement from the Army, in 2000, Patrick Beck worked as a contractor and cooked in Afghanistan. Janet Beck retired in 2017.
More recently, Patrick Beck operated a food truck. He often fed the homeless in Dallas.
The couple met in 1995 at a church in Cuba, their son said. In the story they told, each dreamt about the other that first night.