Family and friends gathered to remember a Georgia couple and their young son who were killed in a horrific crash in New Jersey on Thursday.
Ainsworth and Jaqueline Mallett, their son Drew and daughter Nikki were on their way back from a holiday visit with family when they crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Stephenson High School, where Nikki graduated from and Mrs. Mallett worked, opened its campus Sunday evening to the community. Hundreds gathered during a vigil to remember the family members.
Mourners paid their respects at the Mallett family's Jamaican restaurant Friday and Saturday, staring in disbelief at the memorial started in their honor. The Stone Mountain family opened the Golden Krust on Rockbridge Road about seven years ago.
Family friend Aubry Charles says the family was well-loved in the community, and called the Malletts a "hard-working, dedicated family." The family worked together to run their restaurant, with Mr. Mallett cooking, Nikki taking orders, serving food and running the register, and Mrs. Mallett helping out.
Nikki recently graduated from Stephenson High School, and just completed her first semester in college before the holidays. Mrs. Mallett worked at Stephenson Middle School as an administrator and counselor, where her son Drew was a student.
Many in the community say it's hard to believe that everyone but Nikki is now gone.
"It's a big loss. It's a great loss," said Charles.
Friends and family say Nikki Mallett was released from the hospital on Friday afternoon.
205 N. Michigan Avenue Ground Floor Chicago, IL 60601 Station Operator: (312) 565-5532 Newsroom: (312)565-5533