by: Greg Suskin Updated:
LANCASTER, S.C. - Eleven-year-old Amari Bracey and his younger brother were coming home from shopping in Lancaster with their grandmother, Dorothy Miller, Saturday night when her car just quit.
"It was stopped. The battery had just shut down," said Bracey, who wanted to tell Channel 9 what happened. "She popped the hood and tried to fix it, and two other people came," the boy said.
The 2001 Lexus stalled in the middle of Highway 521 near Andrew Jackson High School outside Kershaw.
It was after 11 p.m. when Bracey got out of the car and started walking to get help. His younger brother stayed in the back seat.
Eyewitnesses said a white Ford pickup truck pulled up on the shoulder, and someone got out and tried to help when William Neubacher and his wife were coming home to Kershaw from playing bingo in Rock Hill.
He told Channel 9 he drove up behind a car in the road, but didn't realize at first that it wasn't moving.
"I thought the car was still moving slowly. When I realized that the car had stopped and somebody was in the back of the car, and I hit my brakes, it was too late," Neubacher said.
He broke down in tears, telling Channel 9 he's devastated and wishes he could do something to ease the Miller family's pain.
"I don't know what else to say, but I'm sorry. I hope they forgive me, because it wasn't supposed to happen," he said, struggling to get the words out.
It was Chasity Miller's two sons who were with her mother Saturday night.
She said God must have helped her protect them, especially her youngest in the back seat.
"It's god and my momma shielding my son in that back seat," she said.
Brian Miller also lost his mother Dorothy in the crash. He said there was no one else like her.
"She's just a wonderful, outstanding person. She was a very sweet, loving, caring, tender-hearted person," he said.
Vanessa Lynn described her sister-in-law, Dorothy, as more like a sister to her.
"I still haven't gotten over it, and i can't believe this happened," she said.
State troopers are still investigating the crash, and have not made any charges.
Channel 9 asked Neubacher if he had been charged. He said no, but he had already spoken to troopers twice.
His wife, Shirley, was air-lifted to a Columbia hospital, but was released and is back home.
Miller said her mother had been having trouble with her car, and had spent $1,000 on repairs recently. She'd only had the car back from the shop for a few weeks.
Brian Miller said his family chooses to dwell on the positive of their mother's life, instead of the negative.
"I'm just glad for the people that knew her, and got to see her," he said. "She loved everybody."
Amari said his grandmother always went shopping for her grandchildren, and loved to make other people happy.
"She was very nice. She liked to give people stuff, and they didn't need to give anything back to her. She just liking buying stuff for people," he said.
The family was still making funeral arrangements for Miller late Monday.
Troopers are looking for the driver of the White Ford F-150 that was at the scene, apparently assisting Miller.
That vehicle left the area before officers arrived.
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