A pregnant mother and her infant son were killed after an alleged drunk driver crashed into their car on Christmas Eve, state police say.
Ryan McCollum says he had just proposed to his longtime girlfriend only hours before a car rear-ended their vehicle, rupturing their car's gas tank and setting both cars on fire.
In an interview with the Advocate, McCollum said that his fiancée, 19-year-old Shelly Mulkey, was also pregnant with the couple's second child. The couple had just received the news over the weekend.
Witnesses pulled McCollum and Mulkey from the flaming vehicle but did not know 7-month-old Ryan McCollum Jr. was still inside. The boy and his mother were pronounced dead at the scene.
"She was an awesome mama and an awesome friend," McCollum said. "I just want to hold them both in my arms again so bad."
According to Louisiana State Police, the driver of the other vehicle, 36-year-old Jilliana Pamela Ramsay, was swerving and speeding away from another wreck before crashing into the couple's car on LA 1065. Investigators say toxicology tests show Ramsey was impaired at the time of the crash.
Mulkey's father, Billy Mulkey, told the Advocate that Ramsay should be prosecuted fully.
“That's three lives she took from me,” Billy Mulkey said. “That woman is going to have to live with that for the rest of her life.”
After being released from the hospital, Ramsay was arrested on two counts of vehicular homicide, hit and run and careless operation. The crash remains under investigation.
“The poor decisions and criminal actions of one person has led to devastating consequences for everyone involved,” LSP spokesperson Dustin Dwight said. “There is no task more difficult than the one faced by troopers in making death notification on Christmas Eve.”