Family of medical student killed in I-65 crash continues to honor her legacy
MOBILE, Alabama (WKRG) — It has been two years since an American medical student was killed in an accident on the I-65 service road in Mobile.
Two weeks ago, the Mobile neurosurgeon charged in that accident asked a Mobile County judge for more bail. On Friday, nearly two years after the crash, the judge ruled in favor of half of Jonathan Nakhla’s request to change his bail.
The judge ruled in favor, allowing Nakhla to travel from Mobile to her father’s house in Daphne for work. The judge denied his request to travel to Fort Morgan to take care of his rental property.
Samantha’s family said that while they disagreed with the judge’s decision, they supported his decision and trusted the process. As her family celebrates two years without Samantha, they take the time to honor her memory by helping future doctors.
Two years after Samantha’s death, her family is still dealing with her death.
“We still have the process of trying to learn to live with it. It’s not going away,” said Harold Thomas, Samantha’s father.
Samantha was a third-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine when she was killed in an accident on the I-65 service road near Airport Boulevard in Mobile.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t think of her. I would say there are still a lot of tears,” said Christiana Hoff, Samantha’s mother-in-law.
Nakhla is charged with murder. Prosecutors said he was drunk and driving at speeds over 130 miles per hour when he crashed his car shortly after midnight on August 1, 2020, on the I-65 service road west that night. Samantha was a passenger in the car.
“Two years ago, choices were made with serious consequences, which affected everyone. It’s a bit difficult,” said Thomas.
Samantha would have been the family’s first doctor. His family was extremely proud of his accomplishments. His white doctor’s coat hangs in their office, a constant reminder of what could have been.
“We are missing a piece of life. There is a piece of the puzzle that will no longer be found,” her parents said.
Earlier this year, Thomas and Hoff received Samantha’s medical degree during what would have been her medical degree.
His family continues to honor his legacy by helping future doctors who attend the University of South Alabama. They created a scholarship in her name last year and hope to grow that fund as they hit another year without her.
“We want to promote the United States Fellowship on behalf of Samantha Allison Thomas. It’s one of the big things I’m going to do today,” Hoff said.
You can donate to the scholarship here.