Families Recognized for Helping at Fatal Accident Scene

By: WCSO Press Release
By: WCSO Press Release


Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey issued certificates of appreciation to three Crawfordville residents on Nov. 18 who assisted emergency workers during a late night fatal car crash on Oct. 22.

Lewberta Crump, George Nelson and Mary Nelson all live across U.S. Highway 319 from the Wakulla Shrine Club and opened their homes to family members of victims of a fatal crash that took the lives to two Lake City residents and injured three more passengers in the same vehicle at 10 p.m. on Oct. 22. The five accident victims were leaving a wedding reception at the club when the crash occurred.

The Nelsons and Lewberta Crump, who are all brothers and sisters, offered beverages and comfort to family members right after the accident occurred. They also allowed the sheriff’s office to set up a staging area to investigate the crash and coordinate the landing of a medical helicopter to transport the most seriously injured victim.

“I felt like it was just the thing to do,” said Crump. “I was glad I was there to help.”

Sheriff Harvey said the night was traumatic for the Nelsons and Crump as well as the Lake City family who lost loved ones. “They spoke to the victim’s family as they were searching the side of the road looking for a bracelet,” said the sheriff.

“It was a horrible scene,” said Traffic Unit Captain Billy Jones of the accident scene on a late Saturday night. “These fine folks opened their homes and provided a safe staging area offering something to drink and comfort. For an accident scene of this magnitude it was very important that they had the courage to step up and help us.”

The sheriff added that law enforcement does not always find citizens who are willing to lend a hand during times of crisis. “Sometimes people don’t want to help,” he said.

“My mother always taught us to do for other people because you never know when you might need help,” said George Nelson. Mary Nelson chose not to be photographed with her brother and sister, but did receive a certificate of appreciation from the sheriff.

A mother and daughter closest to the crash impact died that night, but there were three survivors in the vehicle. A Lake City mother was released from the hospital a short time after the accident, her originally critically injured daughter remains hospitalized with some improvement while her young son was released from the hospital to recover at home.

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