State Police: Mother, infant killed by drunk driver - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

State Police: Mother, infant killed by drunk driver

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Image Credit: MGN Online Image Credit: MGN Online

A 19-year-old mother and her 7-month old son were killed in a fiery crash on LA 1065 near the intersection of LA 1064, a spokesman for State Police Troop L says.

The at-fault driver, 36-year-old Jillian Pamela Ramsay of Loranger, allegedly was impaired and fleeing the scene of an earlier crash when she crashed into the young mother and her son, the spokesman said. Ramsay has been booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on multiple felony charges.

Based on witness statements and evidence gathered at the scene, Troopers determined that at approximately 8:44 PM on Christmas eve, Ramsay was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima northbound on LA 1065. Ramsay was involved in a crash and allegedly fled the scene, continuing north on LA 1065 at a high-rate of speed, the spokesman said. 

State Police gave the following chain of events: A 2005 Dodge Stratus driven by 24 year-old Ryan Joseph McCollum Sr. of Tickfaw had just entered LA 1065 and was traveling at a slow speed. McCollum’s vehicle was occupied by his fiancée, 19-year-old Shelly Mulkey, and their 7-month-old son Ryan McCollum Jr. As Ramsay crossed the intersection of LA 1064, her Altima approached McCollum’s Stratus at a high-rate of speed. She swerved slightly to the right, and crashed into the rear of McCollum’s Stratus. McCollum’s gas tank was ruptured in the collision, resulting in both vehicles catching fire. Ramsay suffered only minor injuries and was able to exit her vehicle.

Witnesses to the crash scene removed McCollum and Shelly Mulkey from their vehicle and performed CPR on Mulkey. McCollum’s Stratus quickly became engulfed in flames. Infant McCollum remained inside the vehicle. The Tangipahoa Parish Fire Department arrived on the scene and extinguished both fires. Both Ryan McCollum Jr. and his mother, Shelly Mulkey, were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's Office.

The two drivers were transported to Northoaks Health Systems by Acadian Ambulance. Blood was drawn from both for toxicological analysis. Troopers determined Jillian Ramsay was impaired at the time of the crash, the spokesman said. She was treated and released from the hospital. After being released, Ramsay was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on two counts of Vehicular Homicide, Hit-and-Run, and Careless Operation. Safety restraint use for all involved is unknown. The crash investigation is ongoing.

"Tragically, two completely preventable factors led to this horrific crash. The on-scene supervisor and crash scene investigators determined alcohol impairment and speed were the primary elements that led to this crash. The poor decisions/criminal actions of one person has led to devastating consequences for everyone involved," Troop L spokesman Trooper Dustin Dwight said. "There is no task more difficult than the one faced by Troopers in making death notification on Christmas Eve. That difficulty was magnified with the loss of a child. Troopers implore Louisiana motorists to make safe decisions behind the wheel. Please, speak to your loved ones today about the importance of always wearing a seatbelt. Remind them to never drive impaired. Point out to the dangers of distracted driving. The conversation you have could be the difference in a serious crash."

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