Newly engaged and pregnant, a young couple’s Christmas joy ended in tragedy

A 19-year-old pregnant woman and her 7-month-old son were killed in a fiery car crash after being rear-ended by an apparent drunk driver.

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The young woman, Shelly Mulkey, was in the car with her fiance, Ryan McCollum, and their son, Ryan McCollum Jr, when the accident happened.

Louisiana state police say the driver of the other car, Jillian Ramsey, was actually fleeing the scene of an earlier crash when she collided with the back of Mulkey’s vehicle. Ramsey, police say, was impaired.

The impact of the crash caused the gas tank of the young family’s 2005 Dodge Stratus to ignite both vehicles, state police told The Advocate.

McCollum and Mulkey had been dating for about four years, and McCollum said he decided to propose as a Christmas Eve present, which she accepted. Over the weekend, the couple learned Mulkey was pregnant with their second child.

They were all headed home together from a Christmas party when Ramsey’s car slammed into them.

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“It sounded almost like a bomb or something,” bystander Kasey Craig told Fox 8. “The whole trailer shook. We came out here and there was these tire tracks right here and where you see that it was just fire. I ran into Hopping Harley’s to get a fire extinguisher and I tried to get the fire extinguisher to him as quick as I could. The firefighters they were doing their best but we just couldn’t get to them.”

Ramsey, 36, was booked in Tangipahoa Parish Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide, as well as hit-and-run and careless operation.

Witnesses pulled the Mulkey and McCollum Sr. from the car, and performed CPR on the young mother, state police said. The baby was still in the fiery car, The Advocate reported.

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Mulkey and her son were pronounced dead on scene. McCollum, 24, was taken to a local hospital and treated for apparent burns to his face and ears, and injuries to his leg.

Ramsey was able to get out of her vehicle and escape with only minor injuries.

Mulkey’s father, Billy Mulkey, described his 7-month-old grandson as “the best baby you ever seen in the world.”

In regards to Ramsey, Billy said “That woman is going to have to live with that the rest of her life.”

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