MIDWAY, GA (WTOC) - A mother of four and one of her children are dead following a three-vehicle crash Monday morning in Liberty County.
The crash occurred shortly before 6 a.m. The Coastal News Service reports it happened at Smiley Hall Road and Highway 17 in Midway.
According to the Georgia State Patrol, 36-year-old Rebecca Dates died in the crash. They say a 52-year-old man was driving northbound and struck Dates head-on, which pushed her vehicle into oncoming traffic. The man had non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Memorial in Savannah.
GSP says another vehicle then struck Dates’ vehicle from behind. That driver had minor injuries and was taken to Liberty Regional and released.
In the car with Dates were her four children, whose ages range from 8 to 14. According to GSP, three of the children received minor injuries. A fourth child, 14-year-old Zoey Dates, also passed away from injuries she received in the crash.
Family friend Casey Nash, who is currently taking care of Zoey’s brothers and sister, said “Zoey loved to draw. She had a huge heart,and an incredible imagination. She loved anime. She wanted to travel to Japan when she could. She was in 4-H, she was a Liberty County Rec Department cheerleader. She loved her family and her friends. You wouldn’t catch her without her sketch pad or a book to read.”
WTOC sat down with the Liberty County Recreational Department, where Dates volunteered for years. Everyone at the department had only wonderful things to say about her.
“I saw it on the news yesterday morning as I was preparing to come to work, and never knew who it was and thought that it sounded terrible, and then it was such a shock when we found out it was Rebecca,” said Jimmy Martin, Director, Liberty County Recreational Department.
The people who worked with Rebecca remember her as someone who loved her children and made a huge impact on a lot of other children’s lives.
“We’re affected by the loss of her being such a huge part of our program, but I can’t imagine what the loss is for them, but I know it will be gigantic."
Martin says she was a single mother who was always there for her children and was always at their events. She made it look easy, with a big smile on her face.
“She was always such a great ambassador for the recreation department and for the community because she got to know people. She was so friendly, outgoing, and just gave people a great impression of Liberty County.”
Martin says Rebecca leaves behind a legacy that no one will forget.
GSP continues to investigate the crash.