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Fatal Athens crash devastates Jefferson family

The Nix family of Jefferson

By Joe Johnson

A Jackson County woman is mourning the loss of her father and praying for the recovery of other family members who were involved in a two-vehicle collision in Athens Sunday morning.

Athen-Clarke police said that 50-year-old Christopher Scottie Nix of Jefferson was driving a Jeep Wrangler when it collided head-on with an oncoming Chevrolet Tahoe that crossed over into the Jeep’s lane.

Nix died at the scene. His wife, 45-year-old Missy, and son, 9-year-old Colton, were both taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to police.

The Tahoe’s driver was also hospitalized and was expected to survive, police said. He was identified as Juan Romero Garrido, 39, of Hanover Place in Athens.

Police said he consented to have his blood drawn as part of the ongoing investigation.

On Monday morning, Taylor Nix posted on her Facebook page about the emotions she was struggling with in the wake of her family’s tragedy:

“To find the words is beyond my ability. However, to know my daddy was to love him. He was a man of few words, but had the knowledge of many things. He loved sunsets, sunrises, country music, driving his “big” truck, building cool furniture in the shop and was the ultimate teller of dad jokes. But the thing he loved most was Jesus and his family. He never let us go to bed feeling unloved and always knew the right words to say on a bad day. From the time I was 8 years old, he sat on a bucket for hours and hours catching a softball, telling me to spin harder and throwing it back to me as hard as he could. He always called me his little girl and made me feel like a fairytale princess. I already miss him more than anyone will ever know. I will never understand why this happened, but I know that my daddy is looking down cheering us on louder than ever from heaven. Go home, love your family and tell them how much they mean to you because tomorrow isn’t promised for anyone. If you are the praying type, please keep my family in your prayers in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Please continue to pray for my mom for healing as she goes into surgery today. And pray for my little brother for a speedy recovery. Rest easy daddy, I love you.”

Cody Nix after winning a race at Hartwell Speedway

The Hartwell Speedway, where Nix’s other son Cody, won a race on Saturday, posted condolences on its Facebook page:

“As many of you know Mr. Cody Nix was the winner of yesterday's enduro race. Today his family was involved in a head on collision in Athens and Cody's father was killed instantly. Currently his mother is in ICU. This is a horrific tragedy for this family through no fault of their own. It is a bitter reminder none of us are promised tomorrow. Hug your loved ones, celebrate the victories and relish the quiet moments together as a family. Please pray hard for this family they need a healing for the mother.”

Police asked for anyone who witnessed the crash or had information about it to contact Lt. Jonathan McIlvaine at or (762) 400-7089.

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