‘Holding onto life:’ 8-year-old boy likely 6th fatality in Crestview crash, mother says

Northwest Florida

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — Five people died in a crash on State Road 85 in Crestview Friday morning.

The crash’s lone survivor, an 8-year-old boy, is likely to lose his battle with a brain injury in the coming days and become the sixth person to die as a result of the crash, his mother says.

Tabitha Barrow told WKRG News 5 Monday when her son Christopher arrived at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital after the crash, doctors said he was 90% brain dead.

The crash happened at about 6:15 a.m. Friday morning. A preliminary investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol Friday said a vehicle holding four passengers and a driver got off of State Road 85 and went into the center median, traveling into the path of another vehicle with a 19-year-old Crestview man behind the wheel.

Barrow’s mother, Valerie, died, as well as everyone — excluding Christopher — remaining in the vehicles.

“When EMS got to (Christopher), it was almost completely too late,” Barrow said. “They have already told me that I cannot bring him home and that he is not going to wake up from this. So now I am burying my mom and my son.”

Barrow said she is proud of Christopher, who is described as caring and helpful, for fighting for his life.

“He is so strong and so brave. I could never be that brave,” she said. “My 8-year-old is still holding on to life and they don’t know how.”

Losing her mother and likely her son, right after the Thanksgiving holiday, has crushed Barrow, she said.

“She was my best friend and biggest supporter. She helped me raise my son,” Barrow said. “He was the best child you could ever ask for.”

However, she finds peace in her faith, believing her mother and son are together.

“I would tell my mom to give my son the biggest hug ever for me right now,” she said. “I know me and my children are about to have the most amazing guardian angels. I know my son is not going to leave his siblings side.”

Barrow said tests run Monday morning showed Christopher can not yet be deemed at brain dead status, so she’s hopeful while keeping her expectations low. She said the crash should serve as a reminder to parents out there to cherish their children.

“To the people out there who have children and aren’t being the best moms that they can be … they need to hug their kids just a little bit harder,” she said. “I wish every day I hugged my son a little bit harder.”


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