Family of three boys killed in tanker crash explosion grieves - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Family of three boys killed in tanker crash explosion grieves

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

The family of three boys killed in the fiery tanker truck crash Thursday afternoon in Effingham County is grieving.

The Mulligan, Hale and Hickox families are in shock that in an instant they lost three young lives.

Their grandfather, Joe Hale, described 3-year-old Eli Hickox as a precocious child, barely two weeks away from his fourth birthday. He wanted to hunt and fish like his big brothers.

Sixteen year old Garret Mulligan went to Effingham High School and was the quiet jokester.

Eighteen year old Wesley Mulligan was the big brother. He saved up all his money to buy his pickup truck just two days before the crash.

His grandmother, Sue Hale, said this is all too surreal to understand.

"It's really hard losing three at one time," she said. "And especially this way. When you think about how it happened, it makes it doubly bad. It's bad enough for it to happen, but the way it happened, with that truck exploding, it's you don't know if they knew what was happening or if they didn't know. No one can tell."

The family didn't need the Effingham County Sheriff's Office to confirm the three brothers were killed in the crash.

Debra Napier, the victims' aunt, knew it was them as soon as she heard the news of the accident.

"We knew when they said he was missing and we couldn't get a hold of him on the cell phone, and we knew."

It's a tragedy she and her family may never understand.

Said Sue Hale, "It feels like a part of your heart is gone, and it will never be replaced."

A fund has been set up for the family to help pay for funeral costs. You can visit the website here http://www.gofundme.com/5f1xa8

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