8-year-old dies when tractor and SUV collide - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

8-year-old dies when tractor and SUV collide

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

COLQUITT,  GA (WALB) - Students and teachers in Miller county are grieving the loss of a 3rd grader who was killed Tuesday when a tractor and an SUV collided.

The boy's older brother and parents were both injured in the crash.

Wednesday The State Patrol's Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team was back at the scene trying to piece together exactly what happened.

The Patterson family is well-liked and well-known in Miller County. They have a lot of family and friends there who are all shocked by what happened when a quick trip to football practice, took a tragic turn.

It's was a tough day for teachers and students in Miller county who struggled to deal with the tragic loss of 8-year-old Devon Patterson.

"They just have so many questions. And you know you can't answer them. All you can do is think about the good memories you had with him," cried one of Devon's teachers, Cissy Eldridge.

Tuesday just after 5:30 troopers say RJ Williams was driving a John Deere tractor south on Georgia Highway 310.

Troopers say he turned left in front of a Tahoe driven by 31-year old Demetric Patterson. They collided and both spun out of control.

Patterson's 8-year old son Devon was killed, crushed between the front and back seats.  The father and 12-year old Deshon were airlifted to Tallahassee Medical Center. The mother, 31-year old Gracie Patterson suffered only minor injuries.

"It's a small school, everyone knew him, and loved him," said Principal Tina Brooks.

That's why Miller county schools were prepared to deal with the grief.

"I've seen 10-15 kids today and refereed more to some pastors and other people we had set up around the school this morning," said counselor Leslie Godwin.

Some kids were even sent home crying, unable to bear the loss. And even more had questions, everyone asking where their beloved friend is now.

"We talked about how he'll go up to heaven and be one of God's little angels," said Eldridge.

Some witnesses say there may have been a third vehicle involved somehow that the tractor driver was trying to avoid.

Troopers also told said none of the Pattersons had their seatbelts on during the collision.  No charges have been filed yet as the State Patrol continues to investigate.


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