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Mom says son, 6, told her he 'had to be strong' after wrong-way crash on I-40

6-year-old Armani Gonzalez, his father, and his grandmother were all in the first car hit head-on by 69-year-old Pearlie Mae Williams.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A 6-year-old boy injured in a wrong-way crash on I-40 is home from the hospital, his mother told WFMY News 2. 

"My son says he remembers every single detail. He's smart. He's six years old and remembers everything that happened and he said, 'I had to be strong.' He said, 'I couldn't scream,'" Jacqueline Frost said. 

Her son Armani Gonzalez, Jose Gonzalez, the boy's father, were in the car that was hit head-on. His grandmother, Olivia Gonzalez was also in the car and was injured. Frost said Jose Gonzalez and Olivia Gonzalez are still in the hospital with serious injures. 

She said his father had broken ribs and also underwent surgery to put a rod in where his femur is. 

Armani was treated for his physical injuries, but his mom worries about the psychological ones the crash left behind.

"My son is terrified to get back in the car," Frost said. "On the way [home] after being discharged, my son was screaming." 

Credit: Jacqueline Frost
Armani was injured in the wrong-way crash on I-40. He's home from the hospital.

Troopers said the wrong-way driver, 69-year-old Pearlie Mae Williams, died instantly. They don't know why she ended up going the wrong way on the highway near Whitsett. Investigators said just 20 minutes before the crash, Williams' husband reported her missing. 

RELATED: Wrong-way I-40 driver reported missing by husband before deadly crash

The crash involved a total of seven cars and shut down westbound lanes of I-40 for about five hours. 

One commuter captured the crash on video and immediately jumped in to help. 

"Then I had someone else ask for a pocket knife...so I had a pocket, so I gave it to him and we were able to cut the lady's seat belt with it," Diego Fernandez said. 

Troopers are investigating whether the wrong-way driver had a cognitive impairment. They are waiting on a toxicology report from her autopsy. 

Frost urges people to keep those injured in their thoughts and prayers. 

“I just ask everybody right now to have prayers for my son's family and his father and his grandmother and every other family that’s involved. I hate this for everyone,” Frost said. 


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