ROCKWOOD (WATE) – An accident claimed the lives of three people, one of the victim’s family has identified to be Malichi Thomas, 14.
The Rockwood Police Department says the accident involved one vehicle with four occupants inside. The driver of the vehicle, Billy Grant, 37, was pronounced dead on the scene along with Thomas. Amanda Curry, 34, a passenger of the vehicle, was transported to UT Medical Center, where she died of her injuries. A juvenile was also transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and was later released.
Data revealed that the vehicle hit a tree at more than 70 mph. Investigators believe the car was going around 85 mph at least four seconds before impact.
At this time the names of those involved are not being released by RPD, but the Thomas family says Malichi was in the backseat of the vehicle when it hit a tree on Kingston Avenue Friday evening. His mother, Heather Thomas, says she was told he was killed on impact.
Rockwood police said in a Facebook post that emergency personnel tried to save everyone–the Thomas family expressing their gratitude for the kindness of the RPD officers and first responders.
“First responders, police,fire, and rescue squad, worked feverishly to assist those injured and the victims until it was determined that nothing else could be done. Naming those emergency personnel is fruitless as all worked hard and were touched by this event. I am sure the families of all involved would appreciate your prayers through their time of loss and prayers for the recovery of those surviving,” it said.
“It’s not just a tragedy for this family. It could have been any one of us in the backseat of that car. It could be any one of us at any given time.” said Angela Wolfe, a close friend to the Thomas family.
Malichi Thomas’ family described him as kind, loyal, and a math wiz. He wanted to be a diesel mechanic.
“Malachi was an organ donor. He was sent to Nashville donor services. He said that when he was out of his body, if something on him could save somebody else that’s what he would’ve wanted.” said Heather Thomas.
To help pay for funeral expenses, the Thomas family has started a Go-Fund-Me and is asking for community support.