BOWMAN, S.C. – A 24-year-old mother from Callahan and her two young children died after their car struck an alligator on Interstate 95 in South Carolina.
Amber Stanley, her 4-year-old son Jack and her 2-year-old daughter Autumn all died from injuries after their Kia Soul hit the animal, ran off the road, struck a tree and caught fire about 12:30 a.m. Monday, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
The incident happened on I-95 northbound at near the I-26 interchange.
Family told News4Jax Stanley was studying to get her real estate license and preparing to go back to school.
Brian Shuster, Stanley's former history teacher at Yulee high School, said Stanley and her husband were high school sweethearts.
"I know what a wonderful couple they were and how focused on their kids they were," Shuster said. "She [Stanley] was always thinking about their wellbeing and what was best for them. She was just a great mom."
Shuster described Stanley as studious and focused.
"You just remember the kids that sit in the front row and pay attention and do everything that you ask and really don’t ever have problems with and seem to really enjoy your class," Shuster said. "She was one of those kids. I just enjoyed seeing her face every day. She was very smart."
Stanley's father-in-law said the family is preparing for three memorial services. Funeral services were in the works.