Witness to crash that killed 4 teens: ‘There was nothing we could do’


She wasn’t sure exactly what was in the middle of the road Monday afternoon. Then, Tilafayea Walker realized it was an SUV that had crashed, and she could see someone inside.

“Oh my God, there’s someone in the car,” Walker remembers telling her sister, who was driving on Ga. 92 in south Fulton County.

Without hesitating, Walker got out of her sister’s car and ran to the smashed Lincoln Navigator. She was horrified at what she saw. Three teenage boys were trapped in the wreckage, and Walker watched as one took a final breath. A fourth boy had been thrown from the SUV and was under a tractor-trailer, she said. He was not moving. A fifth teenager, a girl, was in the third-row seat, but her feet were pinned.

Others stopped to help, but it was too late for the four boys, who all died at the scene. The boys’ names were not released late Monday. Channel 2 Action News reported that a spokeswoman for Fulton County schools said the teenagers were students at Langston Hughes High School.

“There was nothing we could do,” Walker said. “We all just stood around the vehicle and started praying.”

Investigators believe five teenagers were inside a Lincoln Navigator when its driver ran a red light and collided with a tractor-trailer at the intersection of Ga. 92 and Butner Road, according to Cpl. Maureen Smith with Fulton County police. The driver of the tractor-trailer, whose name was not released, was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, Smith said.

“That’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” Walker said. “It was a horrible, horrible sight. And then to see babies there — they’re babies to me. And to see babies there and there’s nothing I could do to help them.”

The injured girl was able to free herself before paramedics arrived, and Walker said she stayed with her, rubbing her feet and talking to her.

“Come on, baby. Wake up, wake up,” she remembered telling her.

The crash remained under investigation late Monday. Grief counselors are expected to be at Langston Hughes High early Tuesday.

Staff writer Raisa Habersham contributed to this article.




Next Up in Local

Police: UGA student hit 110 mph while using social media during chase
Police: UGA student hit 110 mph while using social media during chase

A University of Georgia student might have gotten away if he didn’t use his cellphone to record his speed on Snapchat while leading a police chase, Athens-Clarke County police say. Hunter Ty Wilkerson reached speeds of 110 mph during the Thursday morning chase before he ran off the road, went airborne and crashed into several parked cars, according...
LaToya Cantrell elected first female mayor of New Orleans
LaToya Cantrell elected first female mayor of New Orleans

LaToya Cantrell made history Saturday night as she was elected New Orleans’ first female mayor, the Times-Picayune reported. Cantrell defeated fellow Democrat and former Judge Desiree Charbonnet to become the 51st mayor in a city that will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding 2018. Cantrell, a city councilwoman, got...
Woman dies after being forced to open restaurant safe, shot
Woman dies after being forced to open restaurant safe, shot

A 29-year-old woman died after being shot early Sunday morning in an Atlanta restaurant robbery, police said. The robbery happened about 1:45 a.m. at the Barcelona Wine Bar on Howell Mill Road, Atlanta police spokeswoman Officer Lisa Bender told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Three men rushed in as the restaurant was closing and tied up the employees...
Manhunt ends with arrest of couple accused in police shooting
Manhunt ends with arrest of couple accused in police shooting

Two people wanted in connection to a police shooting were found holed up in a Gainesville home Sunday morning, police said.  Marcos Tovar, 20, and Alondra Rodriguez, 20, were arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Keving Holbrook said.  The couple allegedly opened fire on officers,...
Report: Robert Mugabe agrees to step down as Zimbabwe's president
Report: Robert Mugabe agrees to step down as Zimbabwe's president

Robert Mugabe agreed Sunday to resign as Zimbabwe’s president, a source told Reuters.  Mugabe’s move comes hours after the ruling ZANU-PF party fired him as its leader following 37 years in charge, a source familiar with the negotiations said. ZANU-PF had given Mugabe, 93, less than 24 hours to quit as head of state or face impeachment...
More Stories