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.
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Staff writer Raisa Habersham contributed to this article.