Family of crash victims comes together to mourn

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 First at Five, Dec. 12, 2007

BURKE CTY, Ga. -- A deadly wreck in Burke County leaves 4 people dead. 2 of those are from the same family. News 12 talked to the family about their loss.

A witness described a fatal wreck in Burke County as a chaotic scene. This all happening on Highway 25 north of Waynesboro and just past the Burke County line. One family talking about moving on.

This is the scene. Tuesday night just before 6 o'clock. 4 people dead -- two of them from the same family.

"I still can't believe this happened. Still can't believe he's gone," says Ella Thomas. She lost her son and grandson in the wreck.

"I'm in shock. I still don't believe it happened," says Mark Allen Thomas, the oldest brother to Julius Senior.

The victim: in one car, 46 year-old Julius Thomas Senior, his son 16 year-old Julius Thomas Junior.

"Oh, he was a good boy. He boxed, he was a boxer. He won the championship and he was a football player," says Ella.

Fred Petrea - who drove the other car - dead. Thomas's family just trying to get through.

"It's a shock the way it happened, but I accept it... that he won't be coming back home," says Mark.

"It's going to be a terrible loss because he was my handy guy. Anything he saw that needed to be done, he did it," says Ella.

"On my way to work this morning, a feeling hit me. Felt like I was just going to let go, but I held on," says Mark.

The crash -- also taking the life of Julius's girlfriend -- 41 year old Carrie Maw Habersham. The only survivor: 17 year old Clarissa Thomas. She's in fair condition at MCG. 2 weeks before Christmas, this family looking towards their faith.

"I won't be able to spend Christmas with him, but he's in here. Both of them, in here (her heart) and I loved both of them deeply," says Ella.

The Georgia State Patrol says tomorrow an officer will most likely be out recreating the scene. Speed is not considered a factor, but alcohol reports are pending. The Burke County Coroner says Fred Petrea is from Waynesboro and he worked with the Georgia Forestry. And Carrie is from Hephzibah. This appears, right now, to be a head-on collision.


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