Daughter of woman fatally struck on I-95 asked troopers chilling question

Posted at 10:51 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 11:54:37-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The daughter of the woman who died after being struck by two tractor trailers on I-95 just after midnight Thursday morning in Chesterfield County said what happened is similar to another family tragedy that happened six years ago.

Amie Smallwood said when police knocked on her apartment door, she asked "Did my mom jump in front of a car?"

Amie Smallwood

Amie Smallwood

Why was that her first thought? It's because Smallwood lost her older sister in a similar way.

On Interstate 95 south early Thursday, flashing blue lights warned drivers a pedestrian had been killed earlier that morning.

It was eerily similar to a scene in Pine Hill, New Jersey six years ago.

 Janet Labree

Janet Labree

"The same thing happened to my sister in 2011,” said Smallwood Thursday afternoon. She said her mom never got over that tragic day.

"My mom was close to my sister,” said Smallwood. “That was her first-born. She was her everything."

Smallwood believes her mom, Janet Labree, walked onto the highway, knowing it would be a way to end her struggle with drugs and alcohol, once and for all.

"She had too much to drink yesterday and I told her I didn't want that around my child,” Smallwood said. “She left and I tried calling her."

I-95 accident scene

I-95 accident scene

A daughter now shoulders unimaginable grief, blaming herself for trying to better her mother's life.

Smallwood said her mom was dressed just as her sister was the night she was killed: black shorts, black tank top and flip flops.

Troopers said she was hit by at least two semis.

Smallwood is now alone, left trying to answer her son’s question, “Where did grandma go?”

"He will realize that she's not there to hold his hand anymore and take him for walks,” Smallwood said. “We will just have to get by day-by-day, and I will always tell him grandma loved him very much."

Smallwood said with no immediate family around to help, burying her mom is now her responsibility. She has set up a Gofundme account. Click here if you would like to contribute.

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