A Virginia dad said he believes his 3-year-old daughter's nightmares may be more than just dreams and could be clues to solving the mystery of his wife's death.
Craig Tyler's wife, Natali Castellanos-Tyler, died Feb. 21 after she "lost control" of her 2002 Ford Explorer and "struck a tree," the Chesterfield County Police said in a news release at the time. Her daughter, who was 2 at the time and in the car, survived and was transported to a hospital with "minor injuries," police added.
But while a police spokeswoman told ABC News today the crash investigator believes icy roads and weather were factors in the "single-vehicle" accident, the Mosely, Virginia, man now suspects foul play after listening to his 3-year-old's nightmares, he told ABC News today.
Tyler said his daughter's nightmares began in late February to early March, about a week after his wife was buried.
"For weeks, she's been having nightmares about a white van, and when I ask her what's wrong, she says that the white van hurt her and that it hurt her car," Tyler said. "It's gotten to the point that when there were two white vans parked outside her school, she didn't want to go to school."
Tyler added he's in the process of finding his daughter a counselor because she's so traumatized and terrified of white vans.
This past weekend, Tyler said his mother told him she saw Facebook posts in a private Facebook community page reporting several side-swiping and hit-and-run car incidents involving white trucks. All the accidents happened just blocks from each other in his neighborhood, Tyler added.
One of the community Facebook posters, Subasree Thompson, 42, told ABC News today she was sideswiped by a white van March 30 in the same neighborhood, but she didn't file an official police report.
"I had just picked up my three-year-old daughter from preschool, and I was coming through Otterdale Road when I saw a white truck going fast in the opposite direction," Thompson said. "It swerved at the very last minute, hit my lane and cracked my minivan's mirror."
Thompson said she thought the driver was going to stop to exchange numbers and insurance, but the white truck with no advertisements on the side never braked, and she didn't catch its license. She added she "definitely saw two men, possibly three, sitting across in the front of the van."
The following day, Thompson said she was coming home from picking up her 5-year-old when she saw a neighbor's teenage daughter, Caitlyn Thomas, involved in an accident near the same place she said she was sideswiped.
Thomas, 17, told Subasree a white truck, similar to the one Subasree encountered, sideswiped her car's left side and shattered her window, taking out the car's mirror as well, her mother, Wendy Thomas, told ABC News today.
A Chesterfield County Police Department spokeswoman told ABC News today that a crash report was received that day, March 31, but that the department could not release the name of the victim.
"The incident occurred around 1:50 p.m. in the 6800 block of Otterdale Road," the spokeswoman said. "It was reported that a Honda Accord was struck on the left side by a white work truck, possibly a box truck, which then left the scene. The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries."
Another incident in which a school bus was sideswiped by a trash truck on April 3 was also reported, the spokeswoman added.
Thompson said she doesn’t know the Tylers, but said a man named Charlie Mitchell contacted her after she posted about the three incidents on their community Facebook page. Mitchell is Craig Tyler's uncle, Tyler said.
The Chesterfield County Police Department said it was aware of new information and that it was looking into the information, but there is still no physical evidence that any other vehicle was involved in the crash that left Tyler's wife dead.
Tyler's wife left behind three kids, two of which are Tyler's and one living in El Salvador with her former husband, he said.
GoFundMe and YouCaring accounts have been set up for the Tylers to help pay off the funeral and medical costs and raise additional money for the kids, whom Tyler is now raising alone, he said.
Tyler and his wife were married in a courthouse in 2012 but were just recently planning a more elaborate wedding and honeymoon for this July.
The wedding invitations arrived the day of the accident, and instead of her wedding he had to plan her funeral, Tyler said.
"We had her in her wedding dress at her viewing and funeral," he said. "Then we cremated her, and we're saving her dress for my daughter when she grows up."