Celebration quickly turned to horror for a newly engaged couple from on Christmas Eve.
Ryan McCollum Sr., his pregnant girlfriend Shelly Mulkey, and their 7-month-old son Ryan McCollum Jr. were traveling home from a family gathering near Tickfaw, Louisiana, on December 24 when a driver — whom authorities believed to be drunk — plowed into the back of their car
The impact caused Mulkey’s Dodge Stratus and the other vehicle to burst into flames.
McCollum survived. Mulkey, 19, and Ryan Jr. were pronounced dead on scene, per local paper The Advocate.
The driver of the other vehicle, Pamela Ramsey, suffered only minor injuries and was booked in Tangipahoa Parish Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide as well as hit-and-run and careless operation, The Advocate reported on December 25. Police said she was fleeing a separate crash when she rear-ended Mulkey’s car.
McCollum had proposed to Mulkey, 19, his girlfriend of four years just hours earlier
“I got a ring out and asked her to marry me. I got on one knee,” he told The Advocate on December 25. He added that he and Mulkey had just learned that weekend that they were expecting their second child.
“She was an awesome mama and an awesome friend,” McCollum said. “I just want to hold them both in my arms again so bad.”
He noted they had stopped to pick up cigarettes and were making their way home when the crash occurred. Mulkey’s father, Billy Mulkey, hopes Ramsey, 36, will receive the maximum penalty under the law.
“That’s three lives she took from me,” he told The Advocate. “That woman is going to have to live with that the rest of her life.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.