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September 1, 2014

Two pond crash survivors improve, youngest breathing on her own

Funeral services for two of the victims in the pond crash in St. Louis Park are expected to be announced Monday as the medical reports on two of the three survivors showed improvement.

The Star Tribune reports that 5-year-old Amani Coleman-Guerrido and 1-year-old Aliyana Rennie both recognized the voices of family members on Sunday, with the youngest making additional progress.

“She’s now able to take some breaths on her own, so those are all improvements that we view as being positive,” said family spokesman and attorney Rick Petry on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports that the 1-year-old remains in critical but stable condition, as do the other two other children.

“They’re showing signs of being responsive. They recognize mom’s voice, grandma’s voice,” said Petry.

Petry said Sunday that he did not have new information about the condition of 6-year-old Zarihana Rennie, who was said Saturday to be unresponsive at Hennepin County Medical Center. He said there may be information Monday about funeral arrangements for Zenavia Rennie, 5, and Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, 7, both of whom died Thursday.

The kids were riding in a car driven by Marion Guerrido, 23, when it plunged into a frigid pond next to a Highway 100 ramp in St. Louis Park, trapping the children underwater for up to 45 minutes. Guerrido is the mother of three of the children.

The crash investigation is expected to take several weeks. It will be up to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to decide if charges will be filed.

The St. Louis Park Patch reported that an online fund for the blended family of Guerrido and her boyfriend, Julius Rennie, stood at $14,431 as of early Monday morning. Petry said the family hopes to eventually raise $100,000 to pay for medical and funeral expenses.

Meanwhile, the mother of two of the children involved in the accident shared her story with WCCO. Shaniece Thompson, 25, is the mother of  Zenavia Rennie, who died Thursday, and Zarihana Rennie who remains hospitalized. Marion Guerrido is dating Zarihana and Zenavia’s father. Guerrido has a permit, but not a valid Minnesota Driver’s License, according to a report from FOX 9.

“I’m angry about the fact she was driving without a license. I’m angry at the fact she put all those kids in a small car,” Thompson said.

Thompson gave birth to a 3-pound baby girl on Thursday, the same day as the accident. She told KMSP that stress caused her to go into premature labor. The baby, named Dream, is in neo-natal intensive care at Abbott Northwestern.

“My body is numb because, it’s like, you hear, ‘Oh, I’m sorry for your loss … congrats on a new baby,’” she said. “I’m just trying to breathe throughout every second that I walk through this hospital, and I just know. I look at pictures in my phone and I’m just like, ‘This really cannot be happening right now.’”