Friends and family members are heartbroken by the death of Kristi Clark and her 10-year-old son, Carter Oakley—but they say she was acting completely in character when she rushed to help passengers in an SUV that rolled over in front of her vehicle. In what police describe as a "terribly tragic accident," the Franklin, Tenn., mother and son were struck and killed by a tractor-trailer after they went to help people whose SUV had hit a patch of black ice on Interstate 65 Monday night, the Tennessean reports. Two of the five people who were in the SUV were hospitalized and are now in stable condition, police say.
The 34-year-old's husband had stayed home with their 4-year-old daughter while his wife took Carter to the grocery store. She "was the most independent person I've ever met—the most frustrating, opinionated, quick-witted, quick-tempered person," the grieving husband tells the Tennessean. "And it does not surprise me in the slightest that she was helping someone when she died." Franklin's chief of police says the mother and son were heroes, WSMV reports. "These good Samaritans put themselves in harm's way to help a stranger," the chief said in a statement. "The goodness in their hearts that prompted them to do that will never be forgotten." (Last month, a New England Patriots star came to the rescue when a fan crashed her car hours after watching him play.)