Troopers say a grandfather, his 9-year-old son and 6-month-old grandson from Covington, Georgia, died in a head-on collision with a Newton County school bus Monday.
The victims were identified Tuesday as Sammie Lee Sawyer Almore Jr., 37, Daysean Mark Green, 9, and Malcolm Christian-Worthey, 6 months. All three were inside the family’s BMW.
Two passengers in the car were also injured when the BMW that Almore was driving crossed the center line and hit the bus head-on at Highway 162 and Spring Valley Way in Newton County.
There were no children on the bus and the bus driver was not injured.
Almore’s wife, Dessie May Christian, 39, was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center and his daughter, Sashie Green-Almore, 7, was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.
No one in the car was wearing seat belts, according to troopers. No drug or alcohol use is suspected and troopers are still investigating the cause of the deadly crash.
Neighbor Phillip Gerard says he saw the family just before the crash.
“They were heading out the house, going up the road,” he said.
Gerard, who lives across the street, says he was very close with the family.
“It’s been a whirlwind since yesterday so I’m just still trying to process it,” Gerard said. “We all hung out with each other and shared tools, shared whatever we needed, and just yesterday he came out joking with me like, ‘Hey, come get my lawn mower, you need to cut your grass.’”
Gerard said that the parents have three older children who were not in the car. He's been comforting them, along with the survivors of the crash.
“I was with them for the majority of the evening at the hospital and so forth, and just seeing them go through the pain, it’s not easy. Especially as a parent, you know, you think about it yourself,” he said. “I know the kids were able to go see her last night. We were there. They allowed us to go see her as she came out either (from) surgery or testing.”
Daysean went to Rocky Plains Elementary in Newton County. School officials sent Fernandes a statement saying, "Faculty and staff at Rocky Plains Elementary are grieving right now and we know that many students may also have difficulty receiving this news. Counselors are on hand to provide support to anyone emotionally affected and they will remain at the school as long as necessary."
Gerard says extended family members are on their way to Georgia, as the survivors recover and funeral arrangements are made.