Mother and Daughter Killed In Separate, Unrelated Car Accidents 30 Minutes Apart

Julia Yates Patterson and her daughter, 8 year old "Libby"
Julia Yates Patterson and her daughter, 8 year old “Libby”

*Sometimes, I wonder why things happen when they do, and in the way that they do. I like to believe that all things happen for a reason, but with this one, I sometimes just don’t know. Perhaps this young girl just couldn’t go on without her mom.

A 39 year old mother and her 8 year old daughter died in separate car accidents just seven miles apart, and within minutes of each other.

Julie Yates Paterson was killed in a head-on collision in a small Alabama town, near the family’s home. About a half-hour later, her daughter, Elizabeth “Libby” Paterson, was crossing a road when she was hit and killed by a car.

According to the local coroner, Tom Wilson, the accident that killed the mom injured two other people, while the driver of the car who killed little Libby was uninjured.

Wilson said the small, rural community that the Paterson’s called home is “mostly in shock and disbelief,” adding “It’s quite a coincidence. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”

I haven’t, either. Our hearts go out to the family, and our prayers up to any and every higher power that they find some level of healing.

I hope that none of the drivers involved were drinking or texting, but fear they may have been.  

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to pay extra attention when I’m behind the wheel of my car, and make an extra effort to check in with those I love. This story was a reminder of what many of us have often heard: tomorrow is promised to no one.

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