Victims Identified In Deadly Highway 75 Crash


Thursday, November 20th 2008, 11:58 am
By: News On 6


By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

UNDATED -- A family is grieving after a suspected drunk driver killed two people and sent three others to the hospital. The mother of one of the victims killed talked about the tragedy on Thursday.

Police say 42-year-old Nancy Rueb was drunk when she crashed into another vehicle on the shoulder of the road.

Viola Tolbert and Cody Spears died at the scene and a seven-year-old girl is still in critical condition this evening. In an interview with Viola's mother, The News On 6 learned about the kind of legacy Viola leaves behind.

"She was a good Christian woman, she went to church every time the door was open, and she took those two little grandbabies with her, and they loved it," said Evelyn Smith.

Evelyn Smith says its life's greatest tragedy, a mother outliving her daughter.

Five family members Wednesday night were on the highway 75 shoulder changing a flat tire. Police say that's when Rueb crashed into their Buick.

Evelyn's daughter Viola Tolbert was killed.

"She was my best friend," said Evelyn Smith.

Viola was the grandmother of two children also in this car, 5-year-old Zachary Snow and 7-year-old Emily Snow.

"She had plans for Christmas and Thanksgiving and birthdays. She was always on top of everything, everything," said Evelyn Smith.

Zachary is in good condition at the hospital. Emily is in intensive care with internal bleeding and a broken leg. Evelyn says it's her worst nightmare.

"They were my heart, my heart and my soul," said Evelyn.

Viola's son-in-law 27-year-old Cody Spears was also killed in the wreck. The fifth crash victim, Cody's wife Shelly left the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Viola became legal guardian of the kids after mom passed away last year. Viola's brothers say they'll miss her gentle spirit.

"She always treated everybody the same. It didn't matter if you lived on the street or was the chief of Creek Nation," said Robert Smith.

And they hope her grace and compassion will be her greatest legacy.

"If we needed each other she was there. I couldn't ask for a better sister, at all," said Byron Smith. "She was willing to do anything anybody ever wanted her to do, and she tried to help you in any way she could."

Evelyn Smith says she was willing to talk to The News On 6 through her grief because she wants to show the devastation that drunk driving leaves behind.

Rueb was arrested on two complaints of DUI manslaughter, but was released from jail Thursday on bond. Calls to Nancy Reub were not returned.

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