The following is a truly awful story.
Our heart breaks for everyone involved in it and everyone who has been affected by it.
An Alabama woman and her eight-year old daughter died on Tuesday afternoon in separate car-related accidents… within 30 minutes and seven miles of each other.
According to DeKalb County Coroner Tom Wilson, the victims have been identified as 39-year-old Julie Yates Patterson and her child, Elizabeth “Libby” Patterson.
Said Wilson to The Huffington Post, detailing what transpired:
“The mother’s car was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle and then about a half hour later, the daughter was crossing the road when she was struck by a car.”
Wilson added that both incidents took place on Alabama State Route 117, which is located near the family’s residence in Valley Head.
This highway is a winding two-lane road that runs northwest from the Georgia state line through the town of Ider into Jackson County, eventually ending at the Tennessee state line.
Valley Head is a small town about 70 miles southeast of Huntsville; the impact of these tragedies has been felt by all who call it home.
“It’s just a tragic, tragic thing for something like that to happen,” Valley Head Mayor Lamar Bray said on Wednesday, adding:
“In a little town of 500 or 600 people, everybody knows everybody or [is] related to everybody. We just request prayers for the family, and we’ll all come together as a community.”
Per The Times Free Press, family members say that Libby had recently celebrated her birthday and that a school bus had reportedly dropped her off minutes before the fatal accident.
Al.com also reported on the accident that killed Julia, writing that the crash injured at least two other people, both of whom were transported to an area hospital.
Their conditions are unknown at the moment.
The driver of the vehicle that struck and killed Libby was not injured.
Wilson told The Huffington Post in a quick interview that the small rural community is “mostly in shock and disbelief.”
“It’s quite a coincidence. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”
On Thursday morning, an account at Gofundme.com went up to help pay for funeral expenses; to date, it has raised nearly $2,000.
This is what it says on the home page:
Most of you know Julie Yates was killed in a car accident on March 21st, on that same day, shortly after, her daughter Libby was also killed after being struck by a car.
Nobody knows or is prepared for something like this. I have started this page in hopes for our little community to come together and help this family as much as possible.
The money will be put towards the funeral, and what is left will be given to the Yates family to do what they deem necessary, whether it is funeral expenses or whatever they need.
I am a friend of the family, I went to church with Julie’s daughter and I intend on taking the funds to the funeral home in which the funeral will be held.
If you have any questions regarding the campaign or if I have not answered any questions in this post PLEASE contact me via email and I will answer any unanswered question.
We cannot imagine almost anything worse than what this family must be going through.
We send them our thoughts, prayers and condolences.