Truck driver charged in deadly Lawrence Township crash

LAWRENCE TWP., N.J. - August 3, 2013

It happened around 6:30 Friday night on the 2700 block of Brunswick Pike.

25-year-old Jamella Tisdale, her 9-year-old son Jaevon Durante, and 3 ½ month old son Jaden Tisdale all died.

Shaqwan Tisdale, Jamella's husband, and her 8-year-old daughter Mellady Durante survived.

"They're just a happy family," said Pastor Phillip Jackson, Spotlight Deliverance Holy Temple Church.

That is how Pastor Jackson described the couple and the three children they raised together.

Pastor Jackson expects a long road for the family. He is preparing a special sermon for Sunday morning at the family's Bristol church.

"You'll never get over it, but at least he'll be able to deal with it and accept what God allows," he said.

The family was headed to a book signing and CD launch party for Shaquan's second gospel CD at the Lighthouse Outreach Ministry in Trenton but never made it.

Police are still investigating the crash but say it appears the tractor trailer driver 45-year-old Richard Williams may have made an illegal U-turn.

Investigators say the family's SUV hit the trailer so hard that the wheels embedded into the concrete and trapped them in the mangled vehicle.

The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office charged Williams on Saturday with three counts of death by auto.

For now the victims' church family says they will do everything they can to help Mellady and Shaqwan.

"We're praying for strength, and we're praying for peace and we're praying for comfort," said Pastor Jackson.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.