A Florida mother and her two children died in a fiery crash in South Carolina early Monday after their car hit a 9-foot alligator crossing an interstate highway, according to the Orangeburg County Coroner's Office.
Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle said Amber Stanley, 24, her 4-year-old son Jack and her 2-year-old daughter Autumn of Callahan died after Stanley's 2011 Kia Soul struck the reptile, ran off the road onto a median and hit a tree, the Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reported.
Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said the alligator was crossing the northbound lanes of I-95 near the Interstate 26 exit around 12:49 a.m. Monday.
Josh Stanley is now his family's sole survivor. He said he was out of town for work in Pennsylvania and his family was headed to a weekend getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
On Tuesday afternoon, he was at Ewing Park, a place he and his wife and children visited often.
“It’s been hard. I mean, I know it happened. I’m still kind of processing though,” Josh Stanley said. “I’ll be walking around and I’ll just, like, see something out of the corner of my eye, I go, ‘That’s Amber,’ and I know it’s not, but it’s just the first thing my brain goes to. Or, some kids say ‘Dad’ or something,” he said.
Josh Stanley said his wife loved to visit the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and said he's working to get a memorial together for the zoo, possibly as soon as Friday.
Cox Media Group