Two local families mourn after Saturday's I-95 crashes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A young mother cried Monday as she talked about her one and only baby boy. Jonothan Jay Ruiz died just a half hour after Amanda Baker dropped him off with his father in a crash on Interstate 95 that killed six people Saturday.

"The last thing I said to Kris was 'Alright, you guys have fun," Baker said. "I'm just really hurting, because not only did I lose him, but I lost his father, too and we weren't together, but we were best friends," she said.

Baker said her one-year-old son just started speaking words like "mama" and "da da." She said her son was already developing manners, and was able to say "thank you."

She sobbed as she told First Coast News about Jonothan's life milestones she won't get to experience with him.

"I wish he would've been able to stay with me longer, so I could see him graduate and see him on his first date," she said Monday.

Baker said she is leaning on family as she tries to cope with two terrible losses.

"Times like these, you wonder why. They always say things happen for a reason, even if you can't ever see a positive coming out of it," she said.

Baker and her family have set up a fund to help pay for the funerals of Jonothan Ruiz and his father, Kristin Ruiz.

If you would like to donate, click here

The family also says donations can be made at any Wells Fargo location, with the name Amanda Baker on the account.

There are other families who are finding it difficult to cope with the tragic losses.

Pamela Taylor Thor, 56, of St. Augustine, was on her way home from the hospital. She had just visited her grandchild who was born just a couple hours before she died in an accident on I-95 Saturday.

"A very caring individual. Selfless. Put everyone else before her," Thor's son-in-law, Jon Butler said as he described his mother-in-law.

Butler glowingly described Thor as "an amazing person."

"She was a loving mother, grand mother and wife," he said. "She was such an amazing person and she was the most selfless person I've ever met."

Butler talked about the legacy his mother-in-law leaves behind.

"Her life impacted so many and she was taken from us way too soon," he said. "Everything she did was awesome."

Butler had words of comfort for the other families affected by this tragedy.

"Just never loose that faith. There's a reason behind everything. We may not understand that reason, but God has a plan for everybody."

Baker said "We'll keep them in our prayers as well."

Thor leaves behind three daughters and four grand children.


Names released in St. Johns county crash on I-95 Saturday

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