FORSYTH -- The holidays are supposed to be a time for families to come together.
But relatives of Julious Battle and his wife, Laverne, gathered at the couple’s home Wednesday for the worst reason imaginable.
The couple was killed Tuesday night in a three-car wreck on Interstate 75.
Their daughter, LaShayla, 13, survived the crash.
Angela Battle, Julious’ sister, said her brother and sister-in-law were taking LaShayla to visit with the Battles’ brother, who lives in Macon.
Monroe County sheriff’s spokeswoman Allison Selman-Willis said Wednesday that the three-vehicle wreck that shut down all four lanes of I-75 southbound near Exit 181 for about two hours is still under investigation, but no charges have been filed.
Selman-Willis said the woman in another car involved in the wreck had stopped while trying to merge onto the highway. The Battles’ car, which was behind the woman’s, apparently didn’t fully stop -- possibly because of slick road conditions -- and clipped the other car, spinning into the oncoming traffic. The Battles’ car was hit by a tractor-trailer that was traveling on the interstate.
Julious Battle, 43, and Laverne Battle, 40, were pronounced dead at the scene. LaShayla was treated at The Medical Center of Central Georgia for minor injuries and was released Wednesday. The other two drivers were treated for minor injuries at the Monroe County hospital.
Angela Battle said her brother -- who worked for the Monroe County school system as a maintenance worker -- was known as a helpful person around the community, and that those people he helped have been giving back since news of the accident broke.
“A lot of people knew my brother because he helped everyone he knew,” she said. “A lot of people have been willing to help us because he helped them. He was friendly to everyone.”
Angela Battle said LaShayla wants to live with her, because the families live next door to each other on Milledge Circle and Angela has a daughter that’s about LaShayla’s age.
Despite the wreck taking place just days before Christmas, Angela Battle said the family is determined to try to make it as upbeat as possible for her niece.
“It’s put a damper on it, but we’re pulling together,” Angela Battle said. “(LaShayla) will have a good Christmas.”
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.