Mother and Infant Son Killed by Impaired Driver in Tragic Christmas Eve Crash

December 25, 2017 Updated: December 27, 2017

Tragedy struck a Louisiana family on Christmas Eve when an impaired driver slammed into a car containing a woman and her infant son.

The baby’s father and woman’s fiancé survived the accident. He had to watch the whole horrible incident unfold.

Nineteen-year-old Shelly Mulkey and her 7-month-old son Ryan McCollum Jr. were riding as passengers in the 2004 Dodge Stratus of Ryan Joseph McCollum Sr., Mulkey’s fiancé and Ryan’s father.

McCollum and his family were driving slowly north on North Cherry Street in Hammond, Louisiana, about 3 miles southeast of their home in Tickfaw.

According to The Advocate, McCollum had proposed to her just hours before.

Jillian Pamela Ramsay, 36, of Loranger, was also heading north on North Cherry Street, driving a 2015 Nissan Altima at a high rate of speed.

According to witnesses, Ramsay had just been involved in a collision further south on North Cherry Street and had fled at high speed, according to Louisiana State Police.

According to a statement released by the state police, Ramsay was trying to overtake the McCollum car when she swerved to the right and hit it, rupturing the car’s fuel tank.

Both cars burst into flames.

Bystanders rushed to rescue whoever they could. They pulled both Ryan McCollum Sr. and Mulkey from the flaming car. The baby remained inside.

The bystanders began performing CPR on both adults. Neither parent was able to tell the bystanders about the infant still inside the flaming car.

Meanwhile, Jillian Ramsay was able to stop her burning car on the side of the road and exit under her own power.

The Tangipahoa Parish Fire Department arrived shortly after and extinguished both fires.

Ryan McCollum Jr. and his mother were pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office.

The intersection of North Cherry Road and LA 1064, where the fiery fatal crash occurred. (Screenshot—Google Maps)
The intersection of North Cherry Road and LA 1064, where the fiery fatal crash occurred. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

The survivors, Ryan McCollum Sr. and Jillian Ramsay, were taken to Northoaks Health Systems for treatment, Blood was drawn and it was determined that Ramsay had been driving while impaired.

Ramsay was then transported to Tangipahoa Parish Jail where she was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, and careless operation.

The state police statement concludes: “Tragically, two completely preventable factors led to this horrific crash. The on-scene supervisor and crash scene investigators determined alcohol impairment and speed were the primary elements that led to this crash.

“The poor decisions/criminal actions of one person has led to devastating consequences for everyone involved.

“There is no task more difficult than the one faced by troopers in making death notification on Christmas Eve.”


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