Family struggles to cope after wife and mother of four killed by driver on PCP

In the most mundane of family moments -- a mother driving, with her kids squabbling in the back of the car -- Mary Wimbush was killed, leaving her husband and children struggling to cope. Police say a driver high on PCP plowed into the family's Toyota Camry, flipping the car and killing Wimbush.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 10, 2011; 10:48 PM

Jules Morgan really wanted plain pizza. His three sisters were equally stubborn about wanting veggie pizza. The sibling argument raged, as they so often do, while the children's mother, Mary Wimbush, stopped at a red light in Southeast Washington.

Wimbush was amused at the squabble, used to the little things that excited her kids.

Jules was holding his ground as the light turned green. His mother slowly accelerated the family's Toyota Camry, then Jules heard his mother scream,"Oh, God!"

A Dodge van driven by a man high on PCP, with no valid license and a history of reckless driving, hit the Camry head on.

Witnesses, court records and police say the van traveled across the double yellow line at about 52 mph - 27 mph over the speed limit. The Camry rotated 180 degrees, went airborne, struck a utility pole, careened onto the sidewalk and then flipped onto its roof. There were no signs the van tried to stop. Wimbush was killed.

The driver of the van, Ajene Jones, 35, had been scheduled to be sentenced by D.C. Superior Court Judge Thomas Motley on Friday, but Motley delayed the hearing until March 25.

For Jules, 11, his sisters, his would-be stepfather and the community that has come to help raise the children in their mother's absence, the sentencing day will be a turning point of sorts as the family tries to figure out what's normal now. A good argument over pizza would be most welcome.

The crash happened April 19, just after 6 p.m. It took 45 minutes for emergency crews to cut Wimbush, who was pinned under the dashboard, out of her seat belt and the car. She died minutes after arriving at a hospital.

Jules's left arm was broken, and his left eye socket was fractured. He was sitting in the front seat, and his life probably was saved by an air bag.

Jabria Saboor, the youngest sibling, is 2. The impact was so hard that her car seat was ejected and it shattered on the sidewalk. Jabria suffered a concussion and severe lacerations to her scalp and forehead. She broke both legs and her jaw.

Makeyla Campfield, 8, broke her right leg and arm and fractured her jaw. And Jaylea Wimbush, 6, had a partial tear of her spleen and a small skull fracture. The children spent weeks at Children's National Medical Center, with Jabria in the most critical condition.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2011 The Washington Post Company