Mother of 11-year-old crash victim says she chooses to forgive 2 men who jumped out of car


11 year old Bryla Bell of Opelousas was killed Sunday, May 27 after crashing the car she was driving into an embankment before striking a tree.

Opelousas police say Bell, and two males. were in a stolen pick-up truck which led police on a high speed pursuit first through the parish and then the city limits of Opelousas. 

Police say while in pursuit the two males jumped out of the vehicle and fled in different directions.

They were located Tuesday and brought in for questioning. They have been identified as 17 year old  Jon’torras Bryant & 19 year old Kelvin Monte both from Opelousas

“Right now were just talking to them.” Major Eddie Thibodeaux said. 

Bell’s mother, Crystal Edmond,  says she has chosen to forgive the two men who  fled and left her “baby” alone which she says resulted in the crash that claimed the 11 year old’s life.

“I forgive you for what you have done and there will be consequences for your actions.” Edmond said.  “But I want to talk to you because I need closure.” she tearfully explained. 

One of the reasons she says she holds no ill will towards the two men is because it won’t bring Bryla back. 

“Even though Bryla was just 11 years old, she made a bad decision and it cost her, her life.”

She said in order for her to be able to move on, she has to be able accept what happened, forgive them and not just for them, but forgiving them for herself, “because at the end of the day, that’s going to be the biggest hurdle that Im going to have to overcome.”

Edmond said Bryla’s school backpack is still in the living room where she left it.

“I cant even bring myself to go in her room just yet, I just want my child back.” 

She said Bryla and the family had just returned from a road trip to Texas and that the 11 year old was looking forward to the summer months waking up late, playing with her baby dolls and eating junk foods, like her favorite chicken nuggets. 

“She was not a bad child, or out here in the streets. She was caring and lovable, always taking care of other people before herself even.”  

Funeral services were held Tuesday at Ford and Joseph funeral home in Opelousas. 

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