UPDATE: No autopsies were conducted on any of the victims of a head-on collision that killed five people, including three children, Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Nicole Bailes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“GSP has sent the blood work in to the GBI,” she said in an email to The AJC. “We have requested that it be expedited, however there are no guarantees. It typically takes roughly 8-12 weeks for that report.”
Meanwhile, the fiancé of Amanda Lynn Pardue, the 34-year-old Gainesville woman who was driving a Ford Explorer on Ga. 11 when she crossed the concrete median, drove into oncoming traffic and struck a tractor-trailer, told Channel 2 Action News that he suspects Pardue suffered a seizure just before losing control of the SUV.
“She wasn’t supposed to be driving anyway because of epilepsy,” Craig Emfinger told Channel 2.
Pardue and her 8-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, died at the scene, along with another adult and his grandson, according to police. Pardue’s cousin, Brandy Poole, said Monday night that Robbie Hollis, 53, and his 13-year-old grandson, Dalton Martin, also died at the scene of the wreck.
Pardue’s youngest son, who would’ve turned 3 years old in July, was alive when he was pulled from the wreckage, according to troopers. But Eli Emfinger later died at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, Poole said.
ORIGINAL STORY: A 6-year-old Hall County boy chose to stay home and play Monday morning instead of riding along on an errand with his mom, two siblings and two longtime family friends.
It saved the boy’s life, but it cost young Ethan Emfinger five loved ones. Two families that had been neighbors and friends for decades struggled to make sense of the devastating tragedy Monday night, finding one bright spot.
“We thought all of them were gone,” family member Brandy Poole told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We have one living child here. It eases the pain some.”
The five died following a horrific, head-on collision that also injured the driver of a tractor-trailer, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Investigators believe Amanda Lynn Pardue, 34, of Gainesville, was driving a Ford Explorer on Ga. 11 when she crossed the concrete median and drove into oncoming traffic, striking a tractor-trailer.
Pardue and her 8-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, died at the scene, along with another adult and his grandson, according to police. Pardue’s cousin, Poole, said Monday night that Robbie Hollis, 53, and his 13-year-old grandson, Dalton Martin, also died at the scene of the wreck.
Pardue’s youngest son, who would’ve turned 3 years old in July, was alive when he was pulled from the wreckage, according to troopers. But Eli Emfinger later died at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, Poole said. Investigators have told the family that Eli was in a booster seat, but it wasn’t known late Monday if the others were wearing seatbelts.
The truck driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and was in stable condition, according to troopers. The truck driver was not at fault in the crash, the GSP said.
Hollis had known the Pardue family for decades, Poole said. Hollis’ children were around the same age as Pardue. And his grandchildren played with Pardue’s children, Poole said. Closer than most neighbors, the two families were almost like family and didn’t mind looking after each other’s children, she said.
No one knows for sure where the group of five was headed Monday, but it was likely an errand. A phone call from her uncle let Poole know about the wreck, and she saw the wreckage as she drove to the family’s home.
“We don’t know yet,” Poole said. “We’re still in shock as far as the why.”
Late Monday, Poole said she and other relatives were beginning to make funeral plans. Poole said she wasn’t sure if Pardue had insurance to cover those costs.
In addition to Ethan, Pardue is survived by an 11-year-old son who lives with an aunt in Alto and numerous other relatives. Hollis also is survived by several relatives, including children and grandchildren.
The crash remains under investigation.
— Staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this report.
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