Families in two states are grieving after a horrific head-on auto crash in South Carolina early Thursday killed a 3-year-old California girl in one vehicle and a 49-year-old South Carolina grandmother in the other, according to reports.
The child was the youngest daughter of a Los Angeles-area high school football coach, whose wife and two other children were seriously injured in the crash and were fighting for their lives, according to reports.
"My Micki is gone, burnt in the fricking car," Costa Mesa High School coach Jimmy Nolan wrote on Facebook after the crash. "I'm done."
The coach's family members had been traveling in South Carolina while he and daughter Paisley remained home in California, FOX 11 of Los Angeles reported.
Nolan’s wife and other two children were injured. Nolan wrote on Facebook that he was on the phone with his wife when the crash occurred, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Nolan added later that a state trooper told him his family's car caught fire immediately after the crash.
“by the time help arrived, they could only pull 3 out,” he wrote. "were not able to pull out your youngest. unfortunately she burned and we can't identify anything...." he quoted the official as saying.
He wrote that he and his daughter, Paisley, were heading out to South Carolina where his daughter, Daisy, was going to undergo surgery, according to the Times.
In an update, he said his son Jimmy would likely be out of the hospital in a few days after suffering some broken bones.
He said Daisy was in serious condition with a bleeding brain, “broken bones, stitches, both eyes swelled shut, and contusion to left chest/spine.”
Nolan wrote that his wife Taran “Tar” was in the most serious condition. “Doctors concerned amount of brain bleeding and mental state,” he wrote. “Not feeling arms or legs, but was able to move them a bit. Concerned about spinal chord damage. Broken hands, broken back, and feet. ‘Minimal 3-4 weeks more in ICU...then will transfer to different facility for rehab (could be 2 months, could be 24)...every day, especially 1st couple weeks, will tell us a lot.’”
Of his daughter Micki, he wrote, “stuck in car-seat ... couldn’t get her out of child carseat before the heavy flames took over,” adding, “Thank you for your genuine empathy/concern. Sorry I can’t pick up phone. Can’t speak.”
The Georgetown County Coroner’s Office in South Carolina identified the driver of the other vehicle as Glendora Holmes, 49, of Andrews, S.C., and said Nolan’s daughter Micki was 3 years old, according to the newspaper.
“My mom was a mom not just to her children but to anyone who needed a mom," Holmes' daughter, Shamiaha, said, according to WCBD-TV in Charleston. "She was as fabulous as they come." The station reported that Holmes had been driving to visit her daughter and grandson that morning.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed to the Times that a fatal crash around 5 a.m. -- involving a Ford on the wrong side of the road and a Cadillac also traveling in the eastbound lane of U.S. 521 -- left the driver of the Cadillac and a passenger in the Ford dead. He added that the driver and the other passengers in the Ford were taken to a hospital.
As of early Saturday, a crowdfunding page had raised more than $222,000 for the family, FOX 11 reported.
Costa Mesa athletic director Sharon Uhl told the Times what the loss of the coach's daughter and the injuries to the other Nolan family members has meant to the community.
“It’s not just the football team,” she said. “Our cheerleaders are devastated as well because they took care of the little kids. The little girls all went to their cheer camps during the summer, so they knew those kids really well. Then Jimmy, of course, Jimmy Jr., was out there. He was a football boy, making sure the football always got over to the coaches and to the officials. They were a big part of our program, all of them. His wife was there every game.”