NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Fifty-three-year-old Tony Whitlow was hit head-on while traveling on I-65 in Nashville. On Tuesday a warrant for vehicular homicide was issued against 33-year-old Kendre Howard.
It was a moment that forever change Sonya Whitlow.
“He has said that, I just wanted to inform you that your husband was involved in an accident, and he didn’t make it. So I kind of blacked out after that,” his wife remembered.
The Metro Nashville Police Department called Sonya and asked that she move to a private place before breaking the news. Still, the moment felt unreal.
“I kept saying you have the wrong person. So I kept dialing his number, wanting him to pick up the phone. He didn’t, and I kept saying no, this didn’t happen,” Sonya said.
The day she lost her best friend, would also come on her birthday. She said just an hour before the crash, her husband and dropped her off at work.
According to police, Howard was behind the wheel of a Ford Flex, when he lost control, and crossed a grass median. The Ford went airborne and struck the Buick Regal, Tony was driving. The impact of the crash caused both vehicles to collide with a tractor-trailer.
“She woke up a wife and went to bed a widow. The children woke up with a father, and went to bed fatherless,” said Pastor Jacques Boyd with Mt. Bethel Baptist Church. “It’s a moment that we can never get back.”
In their time of need, Boyd, along with the family came together in prayer and fellowship Friday night. The home was filled with those who knew and loved Tony best.
“My husband was a wonderful man, he was very generous, loving, caring, we have been married for 31 years,” said Sonya.
She often likes to share memories of when the two first met. Initially working together, the pair went from friends to a relationship, bringing two families together. Tony can easily be described as a devoted father, brother, husband, and friend to all of those who met him.
The couple’s love was so strong in fact when Sonya needed a kidney, Tony had no problem being the first one in line to offer his. When they found out he was a match, there was never a second thought in his mind, even telling a family member that he “would do it again.”
“There will be no one like Tony Whitlow, there will not be one, and I just want to say that I love him, I loved him, I love him,” said Delores Jordan, Tony’s aunt-in-law. However, if you ask her, she will simply say Tony was her nephew “period”.
Howard is not only being charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, but it also faces aggravated assault by reckless conduct and driving on revoked license charges.
Although the pain may never go away, Sonya had this to say, “I forgive this person. I didn’t that day it happened, and I’m just being honest and real, but I forgive him because I know my husband would.”
Family said if there is one thing you should take away from Tony’s life, it would be his generous heart and his love for the Steelers.
“He’s been a die-hard Steelers fan since he was eight,” Sonya said laughing. “It’s Titans for me, as you can see.”
Sonya said this holiday will be far from normal, but she is finding comfort in her family.