After Amarillo Deaths, Lubbock Mom Mourns Toddler Who Died From the Same Chemical in 2007


As four people were killed and others hurt following exposure to an industrial-strength fumigant, many in Lubbock recall a similar incident in the Hub City nearly a decade ago.

The family in Amarillo was reportedly using an a pesticide under their house, a pesticide containing Aluminum Phosphide. The chemical alone is toxic and not intended for consumer use, but when the family tried to wash the chemical away with water, it created a toxic Phosphine gas that the family was exposed to.  

Back in July of 2007 in Lubbock, a family living in a home near 15th and Oak, reportedly purchased a similar pesticide containing Aluminum Phosphide from a neighbor to get rid of bugs, and placed it around their home.  According to reports from that time, the family said the neighbor never explained how dangerous the pesticide was.

Within a day of putting the pesticide outside their home, three adults in the home were taken to the hospital for sickness, and a two-year-old girl, Vantashia Samuels died due to her exposure to the chemical.

Lacresha Dunn, Vantashia’s mother, was in the home when her daughter started to get sick, she told Monday about what happened.

“I was sick myself, I almost died too, the only reason my baby didn’t make it was she was just too little,” Dunn said.  She explained that she grew concerned about her daughter throwing up and called 9-1-1.  The last time she saw Vantashia alive was when she said goodbye to her daughter as she was sent away in an ambulance.

“When I had my baby on the porch, I just remember holding my baby, telling her I love her and that I was gonna get her some help, ” Dunn said.

Dunn explained through tears that the emotional weight of losing Vantashia is still excruciating for her.

When she saw on television Monday that four kids died from exposure in Amarillo, she was shocked.

“When I saw it I just started crying,” Dunn said. “I can only imagine how those people feel because I lost one (child), they lost four.”

For Dunn, her faith has gotten her through the pain of her daughter’s death. She knows that the families who lost loved ones in Amarillo face enduring sadness, but she hopes they consider seeking spiritual guidance.

“It’s really sad, and the only thing I can say to those people is that God don’t make no mistakes, and that’s what I live my life by every day, but there’s not one day I don’t think about my baby not one day,” she said.

In fact, every single room of Dunn’s home is filled with angels– all representing Vantashia.

“She was just a lovely little baby, she was just a little angel,” Dunn said.

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