Fulton County

‘I saw her spirit rise:’ Family remembers woman killed after being hit by vehicle, thrown off I-20

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A woman says watching her niece die after she was hit by a car brought back memories of her parents dying the same way 50 years ago.

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Melody Coburn was killed as she spoke to a tow truck driver who was loading up her disabled car on the interstate just hours into the new year.

Her aunt, Victoria Ann Woodson Kingston says losing her niece has left her and her family heartbroken.

“It just brings this back up again 50 years later,” she told Channel 2s Tom Jones.

Kingston was 17 when a driver crashed into her parents, killing them in New Jersey.

Her mind flashed back to that as she watched a car crash into her 43-year-old niece, Coburn, four hours into the new year.

The impact sent Coburn over I-20 eastbound near Fulton Industrial Boulevard and down below, killing her.


Kingston and her husband were there to pick her up after her car became disabled.

“When I saw it happen, the first thing I did was jump out [of] the car and scream for her to see where she was,” Kingston recalled.

She knew it wasn’t good when she realized what happened.

“When she got hit, I saw her spirit rise and I knew she was gone,” she said.

Kingston says the driver should have seen them.

“We had our lights on. We had our flashers on. And the tow truck light was spiraling,” she remembered.

She doesn’t know what made the driver lose control. Kingston says it was a drunk driver who killed her parents. She says losing loved ones this way adversely impacts so many lives.

“It hurts a lot more people than the person that you killed,” she said.

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Kingston says she will treasure Coburn’s fun-loving, high-energy spirit, her suddenly getting into fitness and bodybuilding, and her showing Jane Fonda how to do the electric slide.

Kingston says Coburn posted on social media her big plans for the new year.

“She said she was stepping into a new phase and she put hashtag claim it. That was the last post she made,” she said.

Police say they are still investigating the incident. The driver and his passenger were taken to the hospital.

Kingston says Coburn was well known in the fitness community and she was known for helping those in need.


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