TORRANCE ( — Michael Myvett and Mattison Haywood were headed together toward a college in the California redwoods where he once was a student and now was taking teens with dreams of doing the same. Also on the horizon: A wedding.

But they would never make it to either.

The Los Angeles couple spent their last moments together in a fiery crash after a FedEx tractor-trailer rammed a charter bus on a Northern California freeway, killing Myvett, 25-year-old Haywood and eight others.

(credit: The Haywood Family)

(credit: The Haywood Family)

The couple were chaperones on the bus, which was carrying would-be students from Southern California to Humboldt State University, officials and relatives said Friday.

“Two lovely people that you could not live without, and they could not live without each other,” Myvett’s grandmother Debra Loyd said.

She said she got the call from authorities in the late morning Friday, and they asked for dental records to confirm his death.

Myvett, a therapist for autistic children, was a “bubbly and positive man” beloved by all. He had given Haywood an engagement ring at the Louvre in Paris on Christmas Day, his employers said.

(credit: The Haywood Family)

(credit: The Haywood Family)

“They did everything together. They were doing different things that they liked together. And I’m so happy that they got to be with each other,” Loyd said.

Myvett had worked at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Torrance for two years. He was “able to connect with our kids on a level few others could, and he contributed to their wellbeing in such a positive and profound way,” the center’s operations manager Kyle Farris said in a statement.

Crash survivor Calvin Aceves told The Sacramento Bee that Myvett spent most of the trip at the back of the bus. He came to the front of the bus, where Haywood was sitting, when his phone needed charging.

The couple’s families say they’re grateful the two were together when they died.

“At the end, I’m so happy that the Lord took them both at the same time,” said Loyd, who believes the two were meant to be together for eternity.

Haywood’s father, John, had a message for his daughter: “Rest in peace, my dear. You’re in a good place. We miss you, we miss you, we miss you.”


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(TM and ©Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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