Father, son doing well after fatal crash that killed teen

A 4-year-old boy and his father were home for Christmas and are getting better following the crash that killed a Southeastern Louisiana University student on Dec. 15th.

Peyton and his son John-Walker Alford suffered injuries after a car traveling over 100 mph crashed into Peyton’s Ford Truck. Jaxen Joseph Ray was driving the car and he died at the scene.

Peyton’s mother and John-Walker’s grandmother Kellie Alford said the two are doing well.

“John-Walker is doing well,” she said. “He’s acting like a normal child who wasn’t involved in a horrible wreck. He’s started getting treatment with a therapist for the trauma from the accident. It’s been a success. Peyton’s doing well. He’s at home. He has to wear a back brace for a minimum of six months.”

Kellie said her son narrowly missed paralysis when he suffered a burst fracture to a part of his spine. Because Peyton is young, Kellie said the doctors opted to allow her son’s back injury to heal on its own, compared to the much more painful surgery option.

She said with physical therapy her son can get close to 90 percent of what he was, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever be back at 100 percent.

“They have good spirits. They have positivity,” the grandmother said. “It was a bad situation that turned into a good situation. The community has come together. It’s been awesome.”

Through tears, Kellie recalled the moment she found out her son and grandson had been involved in the horrible incident.

“They were coming to meet us,” she recalled. “My husband got a call and all I heard on the other end was ‘momma.’ Someone else called and told me my son was in an accident. I just lost it.”

“My daughter-in-law (Ashley Alford) got to the scene and FaceTimed me. I saw John-Walker’s face and I lost it. He said ‘Gammy, why are you crying?’ I said ‘buddy, I’m just happy to see your face.'”

Kellie said her family is thankful to everyone who has reached out and who has shown love and support.

“We want to say thank you to the Watson community and those outside of our community who have surrounded us with love and support,” she said. “We want to show them the result of the love shared is a family that is healing and thankful.”

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