Strangers raise money for family of killed Lakeland motorist

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A devastated mother sent a thank you to the strangers who helped her son in his final moments.

Yolanda Chambers' son, Mario Bell Jr., died in a car crash Thursday near Rockcreek Parkway and U.S. Highway 64 in Lakeland.

"He was the backbone of me, because he was mine," Chambers said. "He was my only son and 22 years wasn't enough."

Bell was a loving son and father of a 10-month-old girl. He and his fiancee were also expecting a son in December.

"He was a good child. Never gave me any problems, respectful to everybody, cared about his kids," Chambers said.

Bell was the passenger in a car that was turning left; a truck slammed into the side of the car, killing Bell. The driver of the car remains in the hospital.

Brandy Staten said she was the last person Bell saw alive.

"I held him and let him know it was going to be OK," Staten said. "I was there and I wasn't going to leave his side."

Staten and others who saw the crash and stepped in to help are now raising money to support Bell's family.

Chambers said seeing these strangers, not only stay with her son but also still thinking of his family is something that bonds them.

"I love them; they just don't know...I love them," Chambers said.

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