Family, friends struggling to cope after mother of 7 killed in car crash

- Jessica Picatte, 32, was killed in a car crash on Sunday. She leaves behind seven children, the youngest of whom is just 18 months old. 
A family friend told FOX 46 all of her children are having a difficult time coming to grips with the sudden loss. Teresa Council said Jessica loved nothing more than being a mother.

"I know that she is looking down and I know she will find peace knowing that I have committed to assisting her children with their education and assisting her children during their time of need,” Council said. 

Related: Man arrested after two killed in I-77 wreck near uptown Charlotte

It’s a time of need that came suddenly for the family. On Sunday morning Jessica’s oldest child, her 16-year-old son, called the Council home to tell them the tragic news.

Jessica had been killed by a drunk driver in a fiery crash on I-77 near Lasalle Street. 

"I was shocked. I didn't believe it until I arrived at the family home and saw cars and people outside. That's when it became real for me,” Council said. 

Investigators said Picatte and Phillip Hayes Jr. were killed instantly when their car was rear-ended by Roy Miguel Newborn. He's been charged with two-counts of felony death by vehicle and DWI for causing the crash that has ripped the family apart.

"Jessica was a loving mother. She was a caring mother. She was a protective mother," Council said. 

Council said she thinks heftier laws should be imposed in hopes another family doesn't have to suffer such an unimaginable loss. 

"This situation has left seven children without a mom and the 18-month-old without a mother and a father. I think the laws need to be stiff when it comes to drunk driving," she said. 

As all seven children prepare to say their final goodbye to their mother, Council is helping them find clothes for the funeral.

A GoFundMe account has also been setup to help the family. CLICK HERE to donate

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