Mother, daughter killed in East St. Louis crash -

Mother, daughter killed in East St. Louis crash

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. ( -

Authorities are calling for driver vigilance after a mother and daughter were killed in a traffic crash in East St. Louis last Friday.

Tamika Thornton and her 12-year-old daughter C'mia Thomas both lost their lives on a rural stretch of Illinois road.

Thornton’s sister Erica Smith suffered unspeakable heartbreak in the wake of the crash, as she had no idea her niece was killed.

She remembers the moment she went to the hospital thinking at the time only her sister was dead.

“I went back there and looked at the body and it was not my sister it was my niece C'mia,” she said. “At that point. I could not take anymore … I was crying. I was uncontrollable crying. It just felt like someone ripped my stomach out. It was physical pain.”

Sadly, Illinois State Trooper Calvin Dye says these types of crashes are common on secondary roads.

“We see our worst crashes and most seriously-injured crashes and fatal crashes on two lane highways,” he said. “The rural parts of highways.”

As for Thomas' accident, investigators are still trying to find out what went wrong. Whatever the cause, Erica says everyone needs to  learn from the crash.

“You never know when someone can come barreling out of a side street,” she said.

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