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Father kills daughter, self, injures 3 sons

First he tries to drown two children, killing one. Then, with two sons in his SUV, he veers it into a semitrailer truck's path.

By Associated Press
Published September 16, 2003

LAKE MARY - A former Ivy League basketball star drowned a daughter and tried to drown a son, then killed himself and seriously injured two other sons by aiming his sport utility vehicle at an oncoming semitrailer truck, police said.

A suicide letter found in Monday's wreckage detailed the father's wish to kill himself and his four children because he did not approve of the way his estranged wife was caring for them, authorities said.

Police said Bryan Christopher Randall, 37, drowned his daughter Yana, 2, and tried to drown his son Regal, 4, in a lake on Sunday. On Monday, Randall steered the SUV into the truck's path on Interstate 4 in Lake Mary, intending to kill himself and his two older sons.

He gave his reasons in a one-page letter found in the wreckage that began, "Dear family and friends."

"I could not allow those beautiful children to grow up in the manner she would raise them," said the letter, printed neatly on a legal pad, released in part by Lake Mary police. The letter also said his unemployment prevented him from fighting for custody, and he wanted to be cremated with the bodies of his four children.

Monday's wreck was about 8 miles north of the lake where a fisherman on Sunday found Randall's youngest boy, floating but alive, and the girl's body.

The boys injured in Monday's crash were Bryan II, 8, and Julian, 6. Both were hospitalized, and Bryan's condition was described as critical.

Regal's condition improved from critical to serious Monday.

Randall picked up all four children Friday night and was supposed to return them Sunday night to his wife, Lisa, 41, police said. She had gotten a restraining order against him last month.

Randall's wife called police Monday morning because her children were not returned. She was taken to Florida Hospital Orlando, where she identified the two found in the lake.

On Monday, investigators said, Randall was parked on the eastbound shoulder of I-4 and made a hard left turn into the path of a truck hauling cars at 10 a.m. The truck broadsided the 2000 Dodge Durango on the driver's side. The truck driver was uninjured.

The Randalls, married nine years, began divorce proceedings this summer, and she got a restraining order last month against him. She said her husband was abusive and had an alcohol problem.

Randall played college basketball at Dartmouth, where he was Ivy League rookie of the year in 1985 and first-team all-Ivy in 1988. He finished his career as the school's all-time assists leader.

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