MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG)– A Georgia woman passing through Memphis was killed, and her mother was injured when a speeding driver plowed into their moving truck, causing it to overturn.
Relatives said Mayi Kelley, 21, was killed, and Laurel Phoenix, 54, was transported to the Regional One Medical Center after they were broadsided by the driver on Norris Road near I-240 in South Memphis on Oct. 4.
Police said Kentrell McFarland, 27, ran a light and was driving over the speed limit when he hit the truck. McFarland was pronounced dead on the scene.
“I don’t know how fast he was going,” said Phoenix’s daughter, Melody LaRochelle. “The car that hit them was able to topple over a twenty-six-foot moving truck.”
LaRochelle said her mother and sister were moving from Atlanta to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and were planning to get some food and drive by Graceland before they were hit.
“My mother has a broken right arm and bruises all over her body. They got my little sister to the hospital, but she succumbed to her injuries.”
LaRochelle said to make matters worse someone stole all the cash out of her mother’s wallet while she was in the hospital.
“They took over $6,000 that was meant to be part of her security deposit or down payment when they got to wherever they were going. So my mom literally lost everything,” LaRochelle said. “Who robs a mom? Who robs anyone at the hospital?”
Police said Phoenix’s purse was placed in storage by security at the Regional One Medical Center. They said when she got it back the next day, she realized it had been ransacked, and her money and some gift cards were missing. A spokesperson for Regional One said they were investigating.
LaRochelle has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for her sister’s funeral and help her mother, who is already on disability, get back on her feet.
“Things were already bad enough and then to be wiped out financially and lose your child,” she said. “I will say officers at the Memphis Police Department were incredibly compassionate and went out of their way to make sure my mother didn’t lose her belongings.”
LaRochelle said her mother is back in Atlanta and will have surgery on her arm once the swelling goes down.