A 19-year-old Louisiana woman and her 7-month old son were killed in a fiery crash on Christmas Eve after a drunk driver fleeing the scene of another crash slammed into their vehicle, police say.
Hours after the crash, heartwrenching details began to emerge. The woman’s father told a local television that 19-year-old Shelly Mulkey was two-months pregnant.
“A two-month old child in my daughter’s belly that I never get to see,” the woman’s father told WDSU. “My baby girl was my life. She was my world.”
Making the tragedy even harder to stomach, Mulkey’s boyfriend, Ryan McCollum, had proposed to her on the morning of the day that she died.
McCollum and Mulkey were driving together with their baby, Ryan McCollum Jr., in the back seat, when a car crashed into them just before 9 p.m. on Sunday.
The impact of the wreck ruptured the gas tank in their car and caused it to catch on fire. Neighbors heard a loud bang and scrambled out of their homes to help.
Those who came to the rescue tried to rescue Mulkey but she didn’t make it. Meanwhile, no one knew that her 7-month-old boy was in the back seat as the car burned.
“He was always smiling always laughing at us. Happy as can be,” McCollum told WCVB about his son. “Even if he just woke up he’d still be smiling and laughing at you.”
McCollum survived the crash and was rushed to a hospital.
“They’re going to have the most beautiful Christmas right now in heaven,” a neighbor who rushed out to help said to Mulkey’s mother, WDSU reported. “That’s the only thing I could tell her to try to like console her.”
Police identified Jillian Ramsay, 36, as the driver of the other vehicle. She was at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail facing multiple felony charges as of Wednesday morning.
Mulkey’s sister, Megan, started a GoFundMe campaign to help handle funeral expenses.
“Shelly was 19 years old very outgoing beautiful young lady and had her whole life ahead of her & my sweet nephew Jr was 7 months old and was the happiest baby you would ever meet his smile lit up the whole room when you would see him,” Megan wrote on GoFundMe.
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