It was a somber day in Hanceville for the Culwell family Tuesday as they mourned the loss of their loved ones. Ryan Culwell, Amber Verus and 10-month-old Rogue Marie Culwell were killed Monday. Investigators say the three were hit by robbers on the run from police.
Ryan's father first heard about the fatal accident on the news Monday night not knowing that the three victims were his loved ones.
"I happened to be watching it and it showed the wreck and I got a slight glimpse of the Buick and it said a young man, a young woman, and a small child. I said ‘oh God, don't let it be them,'" Max Culwell said.
But as it turns out, that scene was exactly what he was praying it would not be.
"It was them in that wreck in Birmingham," Culwell said.
Max remembers his son as an opinionated young man.
"He was a good boy, had his flaws but he was a good boy. They loved him at work," Max says.
Ryan worked at Rehau Manufacturing with his brother Alex. Max says on the day the family was killed, Amber was making moves to join the two men at the company.
"She had a job interview that same day. She was going to be working with him too. I kept the baby," Max said.
Those were Max's last moments with baby Rogue, who he lovingly calls Punkin' because he wasn't fond of the name her parents chose.
"I called her Punkin' I didn't like Rogue Marie," Max said.
The family says she was a headstrong little girl with lots personality at just 10-months-old.
"She'd do something then I'd holler or spat her hand and she'd wimper and smile and do it again," Max said.
Her great grandmother remembers her silly personality as well.
"She was always trying to stick her fingers in my mouth," Dorothy Culwell said.
Amber picked up the little girl from her grandfather's home Monday with plans to bring her back but that never happened.
"I wish she'd have brought her by and left her with me at least I would have had one left," Max said.
He also remembers Amber fondly. He helped her study for her GED and was very proud of her for passing. The young couple recently purchased a home in Blount County.
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