Jamiya Givens Williams was the kind of girl whose smile would light up a room.
“It was the perfect smile — it’s a big part of why we hired her,” said Sandra Miller, store manager at the Malakoff Brookshire’s grocery store where Williams worked the past six months. “Just a wonderful personality — one of those people who never met a stranger.”
The way Williams lived made it all the more tough for those who knew her to come to grips with her death on Sunday. Williams, a 16-year-old Malakoff High School sophomore, was killed in a wreck on U.S. Highway 175 east just outside Seagoville.
Williams’ 11-month-old daughter, Alahna, was also killed in the wreck.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Kyle Bradford, a public information officer stationed in Garland, Williams and her daughter were in the backseat of a Chevrolet Cavalier headed east on Hwy. 175 when the accident happened. Reports state the Cavalier, driven by Williams’ mother, Cheryl Givens, 40, had a tire blow out as the car traveled down the road.
Givens slowed to around 10 to 15 miles per hour on the highway preparing to exit off a nearby ramp. Before she reached the ramp, the Cavalier was hit from behind by a Ford F-150 truck.
The Cavalier was also occupied by Givens’ 18-year-old son, Jabari. Bradford said no other injuries were reported. The wreck is still under investigation, and findings will likely be turned over to the Kaufman County District Attorneys Office for review — which is standard in accidents that involve death.
Funeral services are being handled by Tomlinson Funeral Home of Malakoff. Those services were pending as of deadline Monday.
News spread quickly Sunday evening regarding the deaths, with friends and classmates taking to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to offer condolences and tributes.
“My heart is shattered into tiny pieces,” read one post on Twitter, where many friends punctuated their entries with the hashtag “RIPJamiya.” “Words can’t describe how much I already miss you!”
“My heart is so heavy tonight. In shock,” read another.
Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry said Jamiya was being remembered across the district Monday as a hard-working student who always steered clear of trouble. Williams was also a good student, as her name appeared on the honor roll list released to area media Monday morning.
Perry said teachers and students alike shed tears upon arriving at school Monday and learning of the deaths. Counselors were on hand and prepared to speak with students who needed to talk.
“She was a nice young lady, very well thought of,” Perry said. “This is a really tragic loss for the family, and we’re going to miss her here at MHS.”
Fund set up to assist with
funeral expenses for family
A fund has been set up to assist with funeral expenses for the family of Jamiya Williams and her daughter, Alahna, through First Baptist Church of Malakoff.
Please remember to designate checks in the name of “Jamiya Williams.” The church address is P.O. Box 408, Malakoff, Texas, 75148.