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Teen who survived deadly Highway 26 crash recalls terrifying moments trapped in ravine

“I saw a black hole, then I blacked out and I woke up and my mom was leaned over toward me. She was choking on her blood and she couldn’t breath or anything.”
Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 7:19 AM CDT
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GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Emily Williams, a survivor of the deadly pile-up on Highway 26, spoke to WLOX from her hospital bed, reliving the terrifying moments before and after she and her mother plummeted into a ravine where the road should have been.

“I saw a black hole, then I blacked out and I woke up and my mom was leaned over toward me. She was choking on her blood and she couldn’t breathe or anything,” Emily said.

As Emily worked to sit her mother upright and stop her from choking, she could still hear the terrifying chaos happening outside her family’s truck.

“I remember hearing a car coming and then I heard a crash and I heard an engine going from a car because it was on top of us. It didn’t really move us really much, but then I heard the screeching of another car’s tires. I heard people screaming and then it crashed.”

She said she was aware vehicles were meeting the same fate she and her mom had and that they were piling up around her.

George County High senior Layla Jamison was in the car that landed on the Williams’ truck. Emily’s aunt Shanna said Layla’s car miraculously landed without crushing the cab Emily and Amanda were sitting in.

“If you look at the picture of that pile-up, specifically where Emily and Amanda-- where their truck landed-- I mean something as simple as the speed of the car behind them, or had they not stopped, it really could have changed their fate,” Shanna Bordelon said.

Helped arrived on the scene and Emily’s mom Amanda was rescued first. Emily said waiting in the collapse zone for help was terrifying.

“In all honestly, I was ready to give up. I was like we’re not going to make it out of here. No one is going to find us. Everybody is just going to keep piling in.”

However, in the midst of the chaos, Emily’s dad arrived on the scene and she could hear him screaming from above. Hearing his voice, she said, gave her a sense of relief. She knew he would make sure she was brought to safety.

The 16-year-old is in the hospital recovering from multiples injuries, including a torn colon and a broken leg. Still, she said. she feels lucky to be alive.

“I feel so lucky.”

While the younger Williams is on the road to recovery, her mother Amanda remains sedated and in the ICU. The family has been notified that Amanda has tested positive for COVID-19 in the midst of trying to recover from her crash-related injuries.

Layla Jamison remains hospitalized as well.

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