TIPTON COUNTY, TN (WMC) - A love story was cut short because of a fatal crash caused by a repeat drunk driver in rural Tipton County.
J.C. and Maxine Meadors, of Drummonds, were rushed by helicopter and ambulance to Regional Medical Center on Saturday.
Investigators said a man driving in the wrong lane crashed into the couple's car head-on.
A picture taken by the couple's son captured their unwavering love as they held hands in the hospital.
"They couldn't see each other, but they knew they were right there with each other," said Katie Billings, the Meadors' granddaughter. "And they just kept saying how much they loved each other."
With help from a nearby neighbor, Maxine was freed from the car.
"When I got here, grandmother's head was in her [neighbor] lap and she never left my grandmother's side," Billings said.
A guardrail kept J.C. trapped inside the vehicle.
The couples' family took a picture of the black Mustang that caused the crash. It was driven by 28-year-old Brian Pasco, according to county investigators, who was driving on a suspended license. With two prior DUI convictions, Pasco is now charged with his third. Bottles and cans were found at the scene.
"This could have probably been prevented, someone with that much of a history," Billings said.
Maxine, now widowed by this tragedy, finds comfort being surrounded by her family. She said her faith allows her to already to forgive the man who investigators say took her husband away.
"She's strong," Billings said. "Her faith is what is keeping her going. And it's what's keeping us going."
Investigators are looking to change Pasco's charges, potentially upgrading them to vehicular homicide. Pasco already has 24 prior convictions, some of which are felonies.