A Denham Springs family on the way home from a New Year’s Eve church function and bringing a plate of food to a family friend were in a head-on collision Wednesday night that claimed three lives and left two others hospitalized with injuries, according to State Police.
The accident took place about 8:15 p.m., when a Mazda sedan driven by Trinity Kiger, 24, of Satsuma, crossed the center line of Walker Road North and crashed into a SUV driven by Ronald Chisholm, 38, whose wife and two daughters also were in the vehicle, Sandifer said.
Kiger was killed, and Chisholm suffered moderate injuries along with his 14-year-old daughter, who was identified by a relative as Haley Chisholm. His wife, Shannon Chisholm, 37, who was sitting beside him, died shortly after the crash, as did their 11-year-old daughter, Hannah Chisholm, seated in the center back seat, according to Sandifer.
Police do not suspect that intoxication was a factor in the crash. The Chisholm family members were wearing seat belts, while Kiger was not, Sandifer said.
The sudden passing of Hannah and Shannon Chisholm comes on the heels of other recent hardships for the family. On Thursday morning, just hours after the crash, Shannon Chisholm’s brother, Bobbie Tomblinson Jr., said he got a phone call that their aunt had passed away of cancer.
The holiday season already holds painful memories for Tomblinson and his sister, as their mother passed away of cancer 18 years ago on Jan. 2.
“I’m devastated,” Tomblinson said. “New Year’s Eve my sister dies, and New Year’s Day my aunt passed away.”
Tomblinson lives only a couple hundred yards from where Wednesday night’s accident took place.
He said he wasn’t at his house but saw ambulances leaving the scene of the crash as he drove home on New Year’s Eve.
He did not realize who they were for until he got a phone call hours later, about 1 a.m.
“I’m out of emotions. I’m out of tears,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m feeling.”
The Chisholm family were regular churchgoers in the Denham Springs area and regularly let friends stay at their house for weeks at a time when they were temporarily homeless. Ronald Chisholm struggled with various disabilities, but the family still did their best to help others in need, his mother said.
Ronald Chisholm’s side of the family also has known hardships. His father died of a brain tumor in May, and his grandmother died in April after several years of illness, said his mother, Linda Chisholm, 62.
“We know pain, we know sorrow, we know joy,” she added. “This is all part of life, and this is God’s will, and he will help us deal with it.”