‘They truly loved those kids’: Belmont family killed in I-485 crash remembered for love of nature, animals

Updated: Jul. 5, 2020 at 10:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Loved ones are remembering a married couple from Belmont and their two young daughters.

The family was killed in a crash Friday night on I-485 near W.T. Harris Boulevard. Authorities say a speeding, an out-of-control driver caused the crash.

Loved ones say the family was on their way to Virginia to visit friends.

The couple also had a 14-year-old son who wasn’t in the car at the time of the crash.

Friends and extended family members are raising money for the son through a GoFund Me. His name is Jacob and he was spending the holiday weekend with another family member when his parents and sisters left for their trip.

Matthew and Andrea Obester were married for 16 and a half years. The couple had two daughters, 12-year-old Elizabeth, or “Sissy,” and 9-year-old Violet. Jacob is the oldest of the three siblings but was not inside the car when a driver hit the family going more than 100 mph.

Family remembered after deadly I-485 crash
Family remembered after deadly I-485 crash(Lynn Sherill)

Lynn Sherill is the children’s paternal grandmother.

She says the family was known for their love of nature and outdoors.

“Every weekend they were at the lake or the mountains or on the river just enjoying the outdoors,” Sherill said.

The family also loved animals just as much because Matthew and Andrea owned an animal rescue program.

It must’ve been genetics because Sissy, described by her grandma as a cowgirl and fearless, showed a lot of promise in being able to one day take over the family business.

“She was young, she started taking a horse up the hill and around the house. She would climb up on it any way she could and come running back down to the house,” said Sherill.

Violet, the youngest of all the siblings, was right behind her big sister as an adventurer. Bright and beautiful is how her grandma remembers her.

“She just really started riding too on her own so she was happy and excited to be able to go everywhere we go all the time,” said Sherill.

One of Matthew and Andrea’s favorite things to do was to teach their kids how resourceful Mother Nature can be.

“They were somewhat naturalists. They loved to grow food and teach the kids how to do that and they loved that. They were great parents. They truly loved those kids,” said Missy Yoannon, Sherill’s best friend, who considers the grandkids her own.

Right now the family is planning to create a memorial on Sherill’s land. That’s where she and her granddaughters’ road horses countless times.

It’s their special place.

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