Fire destroys home of grieving mother of hit and run victim - - Jackson, MS

Fire destroys home of grieving mother of hit and run victim

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Tragedy after tragedy has befallen a Jackson woman whose young son was recently killed.

Elsie Echols has now suffered the loss of her home.

But friends and even strangers are coming to her aid.

In November Elsie Echols' son Ray was killed in a hit and run accident while riding his bike on Watkins Drive.

"I lost all the little pictures I did have of my son," said the distraught mother. "You know just the memory of my son."

Now she and her children are living temporarily in a Jackson motel after fire destroyed her Fontaine Avenue home Friday.

"All I could see was a black cloud of smoke and when I saw it, it's just like it just rushed out at me and I panicked for a second and then I could think about was getting them out of the house," Echols said.

She was able to get all of her children out of the burning structure.

The frantic mother had to go return a second time to carry out her disabled daughter Sabrina who was in a back bedroom.

We first met the mother of six in September when flash flooding damaged her Fontaine Avenue rental home.

She was then trying to find accommodations for Sabrina, 21, who suffered brain damage after being ejected in a 2006 car accident that killed her husband Raymond.

"Through all the tragedy that she's had in her life you never see her frown," said Sherrel Moffat. "She always has a smile on her face. She's so loving and giving and caring."

 The Ridgeland woman and her husband Keith are trying to help Echols get back on her feet.

"She was at my mother's house the night her son Ray was hit by the car...Within two weeks she was back and taking care of my mother," Sherrel Moffat said.

Keith Moffat, a Ridgeland band director, started a campaign on Facebook and through emails to collect donations for the family.

"I was just amazed at the humanity that's come out. We came home from church yesterday and there were four bags of clothes on our front porch that we didn't even know where they came from. One lady came up and just handed us $150.00 cash," Keith Moffat said.

Donations are being dropped off at their home at 288 Woodrun Drive in Ridgeland.

Everything is needed from clothing and toiletries to furnishings.

"It does get to the point that you feel like giving up, but I know I can't because I know I have kids that are depending on me because they're all I have, and I'm all they have," said the 39 year old widow.

She thanks God for strength to endure and the Moffats and others for caring.

"Housing is an immediate need for her, immediate," Sherrel Moffat said.

An account in the name of Elsie Echols is set up at Regions Bank where a donation can be made at any branch.

The account number is 166172802.

If you may also help the Echols family by emailing Keith Moffat at

You may leave donated items on the front porch of 288 Woodrun Drive if no one is home.  

Elsie Echols - Pants (14 Women); Shirt 16; Shoe Size 10 women

Serena Echols - pants (0-5 Junior); shirts med; shoe 9

Chelsey Echols - same as above

Kimberly Echols - pants 14-16 girls; shirts med; shoe 10 women

Arlene Echols - pants 6-8 girls; shirts med; shoes 13 (girls)

Tywuan Echols - pants 4 T; Shirts med; shoe 9

Raytrone Echols - pants 30-32 Slim young men; shirt large; shoe 9-91/2

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