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‘That’s my mother in that car.’ Driver on opioids sent hearse flying in crash, cops say

Troy Michael Hickey was high on opioid Methadone when he crashed into a hearse during a funeral procession in Gwinnett County, Georgia, sending the car and body of Evelyn Mary Osborne, pictured above, flipping mid-air, cops say.
Troy Michael Hickey was high on opioid Methadone when he crashed into a hearse during a funeral procession in Gwinnett County, Georgia, sending the car and body of Evelyn Mary Osborne, pictured above, flipping mid-air, cops say. Screengrab from Norma Stanley's Facebook

Norma Osborne Stanley says she can’t erase the horrid memory that now dominates her mother’s funeral procession.

She and her family were taking 90-year-old Evelyn Mary Osborne to her final resting place in Lilburn, Georgia, on Friday when police say a driver high on opioids slammed into the hearse — and sent it flying into the air, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The hearse carrying the woman’s body flipped three times, Stanley told WSB-TV2.

“Whenever I close my eyes, that’s what I see — my mother tumbling,” Stanley told the TV station. “Every time I close my eyes.”

Police identified the driver as 24-year-old Troy Hickey, according to WSB-TV2.

He is charged with failure to yield to a funeral procession and a DUI after police say he slammed into the hearse, which was escorted by police officers, while he was on drugs, according to inmate records from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.

A police report said Hickey’s arms had “fresh track marks” and his “pulse was visible on his neck and he had white spit on the side of his mouth,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Sharon Gary-Dill, a family friend who was in the funeral procession, told WSB-TV2 that the crash sent the hearse “up in the air and over — top over bottom, top over bottom.” When the jarring collision happened, Stanley said she immediately worried about her mother.

“I just was wondering, ‘God just don’t let her body be hurt,’” Stanley told the TV station. “We were right behind that hearse. So if it had hit us, it could have been much more serious.”

On Facebook, Stanley mourned the loss of her mother, whom she said surpassed the expectations of her doctors and is now at peace.

“She made it into 2019, although doctors said she wouldn’t see her 90th birthday in early November,” Stanley wrote. “Although my siblings and I are sad, we celebrate her life and we are very thankful to have had her with us for as long as we did. We are also grateful that she didn’t suffer, is now in peace and with her heavenly father.”

“We’ve been emotionally preparing for months, but you can never be ready,” she concluded. “Rest in Heaven, Mommy!”

Real-Time reporter Josh Magness covers breaking national news and trending news to keep readers of McClatchy’s newspapers up to date with the latest high-profile stories. He previously interned at McClatchy’s bureau in Washington, D.C, while covering the U.S. Congress.

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