A Murrieta couple who grew closer after surviving the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 died weeks later in a car crash not far from their home, relatives and authorities said.
On Oct. 16, just before 11 p.m., Dennis Carver, 52, was driving northbound on Avenida de Arboles in Murietta, with his wife, Lorraine, 54, in the passenger seat. Their 2010 Mercedes went off the roadway on a curve and crashed into two brick pillars and exploded into flames, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The two were pronounced dead at the scene and ultimately identified by the Riverside County coroner.
The couple’s oldest daughter, Brooke Carver, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the pair survived the massacre in Las Vegas earlier this month and seemed deeper in love in the wake of it.
“After the shooting, they heard from all of the people they cared about most. They were so happy,” said Carver, 20. “The last two weeks of their lives were really just spent living in the moment.”
Carver said her parents were among tens of thousands who attended the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas this month and were in the crowd when a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 58.
Dennis Carver leapt on top of his wife to protect her as bullets flew by. During a pause between the third and fourth bursts of gunfire, the couple got up and ran out and emerged unscathed, their daughter said.
Three days after, Dennis Carver was asking his daughter what kind of flowers she thought her mother would like — roses or something else? The occasion for the flowers, she said, was “just because.”
“He just wanted to give my mom a reason to smile after the shooting,” Brooke Carver said. “I swear they were more in love those two weeks than in the last 20 years.”
About a week after the crash, Dennis Carver’s phone arrived in a package. It had been lost during the chaos of the Las Vegas massacre and an FBI agent had finally gotten around to sending it back.
It was full of loving messages between Carver and his wife and photos of the pair together.
“We’ve found some peace in knowing that our parents just loved each other so much that they had to go at the same time,” the pair’s 16-year-old daughter, Madison, told the Review-Journal. “They couldn’t live without each other.”
For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.