Stephen Hasner | News | August 20, 2020
COVID-19 increases the pain and suffering caused by a horrific car accident in Atlanta. Because of COVID-19, a mother had to grieve the loss of her daughter alone and fear for the life of her other child alone in an Atlanta hospital. It reminds us that the “new normal” created by the coronavirus takes its toll on everyone, even individuals who are not sick with the virus.
Head-On Crash Takes Life of 10-Month Old
Selena Kai Williamson was about two months away from her first birthday when her life was cut short by a reckless driver. In the early morning hours, her mother was driving home with Selena and her five-year-old brother Juwan in the car. Another driver sped into their lane, hitting their Jeep head-on.
Selena’s mother, Ajsa, was taken to an area hospital. Juwan was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
Ten-month-old Selena went to yet another hospital. Selena was pronounced dead.
Michael and Brooklyn Goodall received the call at about 4:00 in the morning from the Cobb County Police Department that there had been a traffic accident. Mr. and Mrs. Goodall are Ajsa’s parents and the children’s grandparents.
When they walked into the emergency room, the chaplain was waiting for them, and they were escorted to the family room. Mr. Goodall said they “just knew” when they saw the chaplain.
Their daughter, who remained in the hospital because of her injuries, still did not know her daughter had died. It was their responsibility to tell their daughter the heartbreaking news that her precious daughter had died.
COVID-19 Precautions Make Matters Worse
The hospital informed the Goodalls that they would have to tell their daughter about Selena’s death by telephone because of COVID-19 policies. If it were not awful enough to tell their daughter that their granddaughter did not survive the crash, they would have to tell her on the telephone. They could not be there to hold their daughter and comfort her as she grieved the loss of her daughter.
The Goodalls finally convinced the hospital to allow them to see their daughter in person to break the news of her daughter’s death to her. They were given just 15 short minutes with their daughter.
As they were grieving themselves, they had to leave their daughter alone in a hospital room. They left knowing that she would have to deal with the pain and grief without the comfort of her family to help her.
Dealing With The Aftermath of a Fatal Car Crash
The family is slowly reuniting. The Goodall’s daughter is now home with her parents. Juwan is still in the hospital with a brain injury and broken arms. He is testing well.
Instead of planning a birthday party, they are planning a memorial.
Speed Appears to Be a Factor in the Accident
According to Cobb County police, speed may have been a factor in the cause of the deadly car crash.
Ajsa was traveling north on Six Flags Parkway at about 1:00 a.m. on July 18. A man from Lithia Springs was headed south driving a Buick Le Sabre. The man crossed the center line and struck Ajsa Jeep Liberty head-on causing the fatal car accident.
Police identified the driver of the Buick as 23-year-old Willdarrius Galloway. Mr. Galloway also died from injuries sustained from the car accident.
COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Continue to Increase in Georgia
As of August 10, 2020, there were 219,025 reported cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. There have been 4,229 deaths reported that are related to the coronavirus. Hospitalizations were 20,676, including 3,767 ICU admissions.
Atlanta is in Fulton County. Fulton County has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of August 10, 2020. However, it had the second-highest number of hospitalizations in the state on that date.
The City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia have taken numerous precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, one of those precautions is limiting visitors at hospitals and other medical facilities. As in the Goodalls case, the precautions made a tragic situation much worse.
The precautions are there to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As in the Goodalls case, the hospital made an exception because of the extreme circumstances.
As Atlanta and other cities across Georgia continue to reopen, some restrictions may be relaxed. However, the virus continues to spread throughout our city. Everyone needs to do their part to protect themselves and their family from the coronavirus.
The CDC continues to update its COVID-19 information. You can get current information about how to protect yourself and your family by visiting the CDC’s website.