After her daughter’s fatal accident on a New Jersey interstate, the mother searches for answers

According to her mother, Shayonne Nicole Thompson was filled with excitement about what the future held for her.

Living in Philadelphia and attending culinary school, the former Atlantic City resident was pursuing her passion for cooking, inspired by her father who was a chef.

After purchasing a new car, she was excited to show it off to her parents. She had breakfast with her dad in Atlantic County and proudly displayed her new wheels. On the morning of October 29th, she was driving back from the Jersey Shore to Philadelphia, as her mother recounted.

Thompson’s car veered off the roadway and collided with several trees on the Atlantic City Expressway in Winslow Township, Camden County. The incident occurred at around 6:30 a.m., according to New Jersey State Police.

Thompson, who was 41 years old, tragically lost his life at the scene.

LaTania Thompson expressed that the pain of losing her daughter is still raw, even after almost three months. She also mentioned that the uncertainty surrounding the cause of the crash is equally distressing.

The State Police spokesman stated that the cause of the wreck is still being investigated.

LaTania Thompson, the mother of the victim, expressed her uncertainty about the circumstances leading to her daughter’s accident. She mentioned various possibilities, including someone running her off the road, a deer unexpectedly appearing, her falling asleep, or even experiencing a seizure. Despite the uncertainty, Thompson was adamant that her daughter was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

LaTania Thompson was informed by the police that a witness had observed her daughter’s car veering off the road and had stopped at the accident site. However, the police did not provide her with the witness’s name.

The mother expressed her desire to have a conversation with the witness and review any available highway camera footage that could potentially shed light on the reasons behind her daughter’s car veering off the highway.

Thompson expressed her deep longing for closure, as she tearfully shared, “That would be really helpful so I could have closure, because that was my baby. I cry every day, all day. I don’t sleep. I have no rest.” Her emotions are evident as she continues to grapple with the pain of her loss.

LaTania Thompson (left) with her daughter, Shayonne Thompson
LaTania Thompson (left) with her daughter, Shayonne Thompson

Her mother revealed that in addition to attending culinary school, her daughter had previously worked as a model.

“She was beautiful. She modeled for a lot of designers out of New York,” Thompson said. “If you knew her, you would love her. If you needed anything, she was there. She had a heart of gold.”

LaTania Thompson is facing financial difficulties after spending $12,000 on her daughter’s funeral. Now, she is finding it challenging to afford a headstone for her grave.

In memory of her daughter and as a precautionary reminder to drivers, she has adorned the Atlantic City Expressway near milepost 37.6 westbound with floral tributes and stuffed animals. The gesture serves as a heartfelt tribute to her daughter and also serves as a cautionary message for motorists to exercise caution and reduce their speed.

In 2023, there were a total of six fatal accidents recorded on the 44-mile Atlantic City Expressway. One of these tragic incidents occurred in May, involving a hit-and-run crash in the eastbound lanes of Winslow Township. Another fatal accident took place in August 2022, where a motorist driving westbound at milepost 36.3 collided with a vehicle that was parked on the shoulder of the expressway, resulting in their unfortunate demise.

“I don’t know what it is at that point where everybody’s having accidents, if a deer ran out and she tried to avoid it. I don’t know,” Thompson said. “I don’t know anything.”

Leave a Comment