Woman killed in Midway crash was mother of 4, parapro, dance coach

Local News

MIDWAY, Ga. (WSAV) – Officials have identified the mother of four who was killed in a three-vehicle crash Monday morning in Liberty County.

Georgia State Patrol SGT. David Laff on Tuesday identified the victim as Rebecca Dates, 36. Her children, ages 8 to 14, were also in the vehicle that morning. One is listed in serious condition, but all of the children are expected to recover from their injuries.

The fatal crash occurred at 6 a.m. at Smiley Hall Road and Highway 17.

News 3 has learned that Dates was a paraprofessional at Frank Long Elementary School in Hinesville and a dance coach at the local recreation center.

We talked to one of her students about her life.

“I was in shock first, and then, started crying,” says 11 year old Victoria Carter, “She was really happy and she was always smiling.  She was a great coach.  I learned a lot,” she says.

Frank Long Elementary Principal Debra Sukaratana released the following statement on behalf of the school:

The entire Liberty County School System extends our deepest sympathy to the family of the late Ms. Rebecca Dates. Ms. Dates was employed as a paraprofessional at Frank Long Elementary School. Her dedication and commitment made her an integral part of the school and the community. Counselors have been and will continue to be available to those impacted by this tragic loss.

Officials say James Wright, 52, of Jesup, was in the vehicle driving northbound on Highway 17 when he struck Dates after she was reportedly rear-ended and pushed into his lane of traffic. He has serious but non-life-threatening injuries. 

Seleste Plancarte, 21, of Allenhurst, was driving the vehicle that reportedly struck Dates vehicle from behind. She was taken to Liberty Regional with minor injuries.

Georgia State Patrol and Liberty County Fire Services responded to the crash. The incident remains under investigation.

Contributions to this report made by Lewis Levine, Coastal News Service

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