PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a call nobody ever wants to get, but it’s the call Brad Barker just received hours after he got married.
The call came Sunday from the mother of his new wife, Samantha Barker, informing him of the death of his new brother-in-law Nathan Robinson and Robinson’s entire family in a head-on crash on Interstate 95 in Georgia.
“I still don’t know how to feel about this. It’s not one person, it was the whole family,” Barker said.
Hours before, Barker, 43, had met the family of five for the first time at his wedding in Land o’ Lakes, Florida.
“Them leaving straight from the wedding, it was about, six hours into their journey in Georgia when they got into the crash,” Barker said.
When Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they found a head-on wreck between a Lexus and an SUV.
Robinson, 37, his wife Sara and their three children: Rebecca, 13; Stephen, 12; and Alexander (who went by Guy), 4; were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the other car, Martin Lee Lang, 77, of Florida, was also killed.
His car was traveling south in the northbound lanes when it collided with the Robinsons, according to the sheriff’s department.
“Rumors that Sara, who was driving, had a medical condition that caused this are untrue,” Barker said.
Neither Sara or Nathan had been drinking alcohol at the wedding reception as they knew they had to drive home, according to Barker.
Understandably, Barker and his wife put off their honeymoon. They traveled to Portsmouth earlier this week to attend to the Robinson home and make funeral arrangements.
“The community here I would say is amazing,” Barker said. “They will be laid to rest here in Virginia.”
Barker said that Nathan followed his father’s footsteps and worked as a machinist to provide for his family. Many of his former co-workers were coming in and out of the family home in Portsmouth’s Williams Court neighborhood, helping to clear it out.
Also, there was always kids.
“This was the kids’ safe space in the neighborhood,” Barker said. “They were always here.”
Barker said he isn’t yet sure yet how the family will tackle this loss long term. He said right now his focus is honoring them.
“They came to see me— I wanted to bring them home.”