NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Exactly one year after the death of a woman and her unborn son, a Nassau County family has once again been struck by tragedy, picking up the pieces after its home burned down.
On July 21, 2018, Bailey McKnight, who was eight months pregnant with her unborn son Lawson, and her fiancé, Ryan Kennedy, were killed in a head-on collision. Shawn Blitchington was charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of the crash.
A year later, McKnight's mother, Misty, and her family got out just minutes before their home was fully engulfed in flames. That family includes Bailey McKnight's son, Hagan.
"We were very lucky," Misty McKnight said.
The fire happened the morning before a butterfly release was planned to remember the lives of Bailey McKnight, Lawson and Kennedy. Misty McKnight said the fire destroyed almost everything.
"One chest my grandmother had was full of pictures that we were able to get out of there," Misty McKnight said. "The pictures mean everything. I'm glad they're still there. That's the only thing I wanted. Other stuff can be replaced. People can't and we made it out. We are alive and that's all that matters."
Hagan, who is now being raised by Bailey McKnight's mother and his biological father, is 4 years old. Family members said he was not in the crash that took his mother's life, and he was not in the home when the fire sparked.
"Hagan is doing great," Misty McKnight said. "We are hanging in there. If it wasn't for him I don't know where we would be."
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family. Misty McKnight and Hagan are staying at a relative's home.