“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it,” the coroner said.
An Alabama woman and her young daughter died in separate traffic accidents within 30 minutes of each other on Tuesday afternoon.
DeKalb County Coroner Tom Wilson said the victims had been identified as 39-year-old Julie Yates Patterson and her 8-year-old daughter, Elizabeth “Libby” Patterson. The accidents occurred approximately 7 miles apart, Wilson said.
“The mother’s car was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle and then about a half hour later, the daughter was crossing the road when she was struck by a car,” Wilson told The Huffington Post.
Wilson said both crashes occurred on Alabama State Route 117, which is near the family’s Valley Head home. Valley Head is a small town located about 70 miles southeast of Huntsville.
Libby had recently celebrated her birthday, the Times Free Press reported, citing the girl’s family members. A school bus had reportedly dropped her off minutes before the accident.
According to Al.com, the accident that killed Julia Yates Patterson also injured at least two other people, who were transported to an area hospital. Their conditions are unknown. The driver of the vehicle that struck Libby was reportedly not injured.
The State of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Huntsville’s WAFF-48 reported the agency is investigating both accidents.
Wilson told HuffPost the small rural community is “mostly in shock and disbelief.”
“It’s quite a coincidence,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”
As of Thursday morning, an account at Gofundme.com created to help pay for funeral expenses had raised nearly $2,000.
“The money will be put towards the funeral and what is left will be given to the Yates family,” the page reads.