South Ga. family killed in car accident - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Ga. family killed in car accident

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Four members of a south Georgia family including a one-year old girl were killed in a fiery car crash in Louisiana They were on their way from Ashburn to Texas when a suspected drunk driver slammed into the back of their vehicle Friday.

Now people in their hometown are stepping up to help surviving family members in this time of tragedy.

It started off as a bizarre dream for Beatriz Garcia, who had been friends with the Brionca family for years.

"I dreamed Sonia and the little girl came over and said why don't you visit and we told them we just don't have enough time," said Garcia.

But the following morning, her dream became a nightmare.

"They said goodbye and I hope you visit one day. I don't want to visit that way, not after what happened now," said Garcia.

Friday morning, Garcia found out one and a half year-old Alondra Brionca, her mother 27-year-old Sonia Gomez Brionca, 35-year-old Jacqueline Gomez and the 54-year-old grandmother Maria Barillos were killed when a suspected drunk driver, Dwayne Leggett, slammed into the back of their vehicle, causing it to burst into flames.

Garcia says the driver of the truck, 22-year-old Rito Gomez called a family member immediately following the crash.

"He kept saying Nora were burning up the cars on fire and she hears everyone screaming, the baby, so we know they were alive during the impact,"said Gomez.

Now, Garcia is taking it into her own hands to raise money for the family during this difficult time.

"Since they weren't working, they don't have a lot of money, its just something they don't have it's just been real tough on them," said Garcia.

She wrapped up an old pickle jar with pictures of the family. Visiting nearby Hispanic stores asking for any contributions.

"They just don't know what they are going to do, they just don't know," said Garcia.

She says so far, she thinks she has collected close to 100 dollars, but she says anything helps. As a mother herself, she cant imagine going through a tragedy like this.

22-year old Rito Gomez remains in critical condition.

Troopers say they believe Leggett had been fiddling with his cell phone and was possibly drinking during the crash. He escaped with moderate injuries and faces several charges including negligent homicide.

The family has a fund set up at the Colony Bank in Ashburn GA

515 E Washington Ave
Ashburn, GA 31714
(229) 567-4383

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