By Brianna Chambers, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — An Alabama woman and her 8-year-old daughter were killed Tuesday in two separate car accidents less than an hour apart.
Both were killed close to their home, according to DeKalb County Coroner Tom Wilson.
Julia Yates Patterson, 39, was driving on Alabama 117 when she collided head-on with another SUV. The driver and passenger in the second vehicle were taken to a local hospital, AL.com reported.
Patterson was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.
About 30 minutes after the crash, Patterson’s daughter, Elizabeth “Libby” Patterson, was struck and killed by a car while she was trying to cross the same highway, according to AL.com.
She was also pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Times Free Press, Libby had gotten off the school bus minutes before she was hit.
A family member said the child had recently celebrated a birthday.
The driver in the second incident was not injured, the New York Daily News reported.
Valley Head police Officer Ron Ogletree said the driver appeared to do all he could to avoid hitting Libby.
“It’s just a tragic, tragic thing for something like that to happen,” Valley Head Mayor Lamar Bray said Wednesday. “In a little town of 500 or 600 people, everybody knows everybody or (is) related to everybody. We just request prayers for the family, and we’ll all come together as a community.”
Officials are investigating both incidents.
A fundraising account set up by coworkers of Kevin Patterson, Libby’s father, asks for donations.
“On Tuesday, Kevin Patterson’s daughter and her mother were involved in two separate accidents that claimed the lives of each,” the page says. “Please consider donating to the fund for Kevin during this tragic time. I’m sure that there will be a lot of expenses incurred, and the last thing we want is for him to have to worry about that. We want him to have plenty of time to grieve and take the time he needs away from work to heal.”