On March 5, the Blue family was moving from Jacksonville to Rocky Mount, a city where they had lived and missed after living in Florida for several years.
In a heavy rain, near the 88 mile-marker on Interstate 95 about six miles south of Santee, S.C., Dione Blue crashed the SUV she was driving into the rear of a parked tractor-trailer. She died, as well as her 2-month-old child, Dahana, and 6-year-old son, Lorenza Blue Jr.
The father, Lorenza Blue Sr., and five other children survived the crash.
The family lacks funds to pay for their burial, and a memorial fund has been set up through H.D. Pope Funeral Home to help with the family’s funeral expenses.
Lorenza Blue said more than $1,400 was stolen out of his wallet as he was being transported to the hospital in South Carolina.
“Someone stole my wallet between Orangeburg and Columbia,” said Blue, who is staying with a relative in Rocky Mount. “The U-Haul truck is still sitting here and I owe $1,000. There is nowhere to put it. We were using that money to get a place (to live) and to turn the truck back in.”
He said the family also lacks money for the burial of his wife and children.
He recalled his wife as being an unassuming woman.
“She was loving-type person, very quiet,” Blue said. “She was a very kind person. She was an awesome mom, an awesome wife. She believed in doing what right. She loved to help people.”
Blue said the family had grown tired of the hectic lifestyle in Jacksonville, Fla., and was on its way back to Rocky Mount for a quieter way of life.
“We already had talked about moving back because we have other children here, older children, grandkids – and we wanted to come back and get close to them and be some help to them,” Blue said.
Blue plays music at churches and his wife was on disability.
“I play for goodness of the Lord, any church,” he said. “If anybody calls, I’ll perform. I don’t look for anything but the grace of God.”
He said his wife was born in Sanford, and they lived in Rocky Mount from 1992 to 2000 before moving to Georgia and then Jacksonville.
“We were headed back to reunite with the family. We were going to start our life all over here again,” Blue said.
Blue said he recalls what happened before the crash.
He said his wife and his father, who was driving a U-Haul truck in front of them, were following the path of a tractor-trailer in the heavy rain, which veered to the side of the road.
The tractor-trailer’s driver quickly swerved back into the highway when he realized he was going off the side of the road, but at that point his wife could not stop from slamming into the back of the parked tractor-trailer, Blue said.
“It was like (the tractor-trailer driver) was guiding us off the shoulder,” Blue said.
Miyoko Delk of H.D. Pope Funeral Home said donations can be called into or brought into one of the funeral Homes in Rocky Mount or Roanoke Rapids or taken to any Southern Bank in Rocky Mount. Checks can be made out to the Blue Family Memorial Fund.
Delk said the funeral home also can take a person’s credit card for contributions. Checks made out to the Blue Memorial Fund can be mailed to 325 Nash St., Rocky Mount, NC 27804. The funeral home’s number is 252-446-9696.