A devastating crash killed a mother and her daughter, but two complete strangers risked their lives to save two other young children.
Benzie County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the head-on collision Tuesday evening.
Jackie Lockhart was driving with her three young daughters.
As she was heading down Homestead Road in Benzonia Township, she crossed the centerline and hit a tow truck head on.
9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson spoke to the first two people on scene who helped save two young lives.
A colorful flower pot is placed at the scene of a deadly accident.
Many are mourning the loss of a mother and young child, but thanks to complete strangers, a newborn baby and 6-year-old are alive today because of their help.
“I was just driving straight down the road. I didn’t even have time to hit the brakes,” says Zack Corey.
Deputies believe Jackie Lockhart fell asleep at the wheel Tuesday evening when she crossed the centerline and his Zack Corey’s tow truck, causing her car to go up in flames with her three young daughters inside.
“Pulled the door back, got her out as quick as I could, put her over by the woods, ran back over, and tried helping get the little baby out,” Corey says.
As Zack rushed over to help the young girls, Karen Mallon was nearby and quickly sprang into action, pulling 10-day-old Addalynn out of the burning car.
“The car seat was stuck in there and I think that was the most frightening thing is that when I got to the car it was already on fire. It happened that fast,” Karen Mallon says. “Was finally able to get the seat belt off that little baby and get her out. “He gave me the strength to say, okay this is a situation we can take care of.”
Jackie and her 8-year-old daughter Kaylee died at the scene.
But Zack and Karen are thankful they were there to help save the other two girls.
“Ten-15 seconds will make a difference. That’s it,” says Zack. “You just got to think that’s your family there. You got to do what you can to save them.”
The Benzie County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the deadly accident.
Six-year-old Olivia and 10-day-old Addalynn have since been released from the hospital.
Jackie and Kaylee’s funeral will be Wednesday November 9 at 1pm. Showing starts at 11am for family, public at noon. Funeral starts at 1pm at Jowett Family Funeral Home in Benzonia. All donations can be done at Central State Bank in Benzie, under Chris Thomas, the children’s father.