A 19-year-old mother and her 7-month-old son were killed on Christmas Eve in a crash after an impaired driver slammed into their car.
Shelly Mulkey had just gotten engaged to her fiancé, Ryan Joseph McCollum, when a 2015 Nissan Altima hit their car with their son, Ryan McCollum Jr., in the back seat.
The driver, Jillian Pamela Ramsay, 36, fled the scene before being arrested and booked on multiple felony charges.
McCollum, 24, was driving his 2005 Dodge Stratus at a “slow speed,” according to a news release from the Louisiana State Police that was obtained by PEOPLE.
Ramsay, who was driving at a high speed, swerved slightly to avoid McCollum but ended up crashing into the rear of his car. The crash caused his gas tank to rupture and led to both vehicles catching fire.
Ramsay was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and careless operation. Police confirmed in the release that Ramsay was impaired and that alcohol consumption was one of the preventable factors that led to the deaths, as well as speed.
Jail records show she is still in custody, but it is unclear if she has entered a plea or hired an attorney who could comment on her behalf.
McCollum told The Advocate that he and Mulkey had been dating for about four years. He proposed to her on Christmas Eve.
“I got a ring out and asked her to marry me. I got on one knee,” he said, adding Mulkey had accepted. The couple had also learned over the weekend that they were expecting their second child together, he told the outlet.
McCollum was treated at a hospital for burns to his face and ears and injuries to his leg, while Ramsay suffered only minor injuries, according to the outlet.
Mulkey’s father, Billy Mulkey, described his daughter as outgoing, bright and generous to her family. He told The Advocate he last saw her on Christmas Eve and had given her a Daisy BB gun as a joke.
He remembered his grandson as “the best baby you have ever seen in the world.”
“I don’t care if he had a fever of 101. If you look at him and smile, he’s going to start smiling and laughing and jumping around,” Mulkey said.
McCollum told the publication his fiancée was a dedicated mother, saying, “She was an awesome mama and an awesome friend. I just want to hold them both in my arms again so bad.”
• Reporting by ADAM CARLSON