Officials identify Florida mother, children who died in fiery crash Sunday in Macon

A mother and her two children were killed in a fiery car crash Sunday afternoon on Interstate 475 in Macon.

The mother, 41-year-old Karen Gregory of Jacksonville, Florida, was driving with her children, Kyron, 19, and Yahvi, 10, to look at a house for sale south of Atlanta, according to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones. They were not identified until Monday morning.

The family was on its way back to Florida from Locust Grove when the wreck happened.

Gregory’s Chevrolet SUV veered off the highway just south of Thomaston Road and struck a tree at about 2 p.m., according to a press release from the Bibb Sheriff’s Office.

“I spoke to someone this morning that was behind the wreck,” Jones said Monday. “He said the vehicle just casually drifted off the road from left to right. There was no blowout, there was no hit. When (the SUV) hit the tree, the car burst into flames.”

The two witnesses Jones spoke to ran to the blazing vehicle and tried to rescue the family, but couldn’t free them. Another man ran to the car with a fire extinguisher but couldn’t douse the flames.

“They said they heard a sound, ‘pop, pop...,’” Jones said. “They had to back away because something was going off. They couldn’t get the people out.”

All three victims perished in the flames, Deputy Coroner Luanne Stone said. The crash was still under investigation.

Fatal Crash on Shurling Drive

Another car crash in Macon killed a 48-year-old Macon woman Saturday afternoon after she drifted into the center lane and collided with another car, according to the sheriff’s office.

Misty Rethemeyer was driving her Volvo S60 west at about 4 p.m. on Shurling Drive near East Macon when she collided with a Honda Civic that was making a left turn. Rethemeyer died at the scene, Stone said.

The driver of the Civic, a 30-year-old woman from Forsyth, was taken to Atrium Health and listed in stable condition. No others were injured in the crash, which was still under investigation.