by: Richard Elliot Updated:
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - A memorial of flowers continues to grow outside the Lithonia restaurant of a family killed while driving along the New Jersey Turnpike.
Ainsworth and Jackie Mallet died in the crash along with their 12-year-old son Drew. Their 18-year-old daughter Nikki survived with minor injuries.
"A very loving, giving, sharing and blessed family," said neighbor and close friend Eddie McKoy. "We were more than just neighbors. We were family. Everybody is taking it very harsh."
The Malletts drove up to Connecticut Sunday to see their ailing mother. While driving home through New Jersey, police said a tractor-trailer rear-ended their Toyota Camry causing it to crash.
Ainsworth, Jackie and Drew Mallett were pronounced dead on the scene. The family dog died in the crash, as well.
Ainsworth and Jackie Mallett both grew up in Jamaica, but moved to the U.S. when they were young.
They moved to Stone Mountain 15 years ago and later opened up the Golden Krust restaurant on Rockbridge Road.
Jackie Mallett also worked as a counselor at Stephenson Middle School.
"She was a counselor at the middle school, and she was a counselor outside," said Qiyamah McKoy, a friend of the family. "She was a counselor to me. When I was down, she would always talk to me. So I will miss her."
Friends stopped by the restaurant all day Friday delivering flowers, balloons and notes of consolation.
Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash.
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