ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) — A car crash on Interstate 26 west in Erwin killed three people Thursday night.

Among the victims: Army cook Anthony Owens and his one-year-old son Richard.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the Owens’ vehicle was struck head-on by another vehicle going the wrong way. The driver, Tina Marshall, also died.

Just hours before the fatal collision, Anthony was spending quality time with his son, according to his wife Brianna.

“He loved his dad,” she said. “He would see him and light up.”

Anthony was preparing to move to Fort Campbell, Kentucky to start the next chapter of his career with his wife of almost three years and little boy.

“Right after high school, he went in the military,” said his father, Randy Owens.

“He wanted to be a cook, he loved to cook,” added his step-mom Christy.

Family members say Anthony and Richard always lit up the room. Anthony’s parents say their son cared for others and was going to Walmart Thursday night to get groceries to cook for everyone.

“He was supposed to cook dinner for me and Randy tonight for Randy’s birthday,” Christy said.

The family was looking forward to seeing Richard light up on Christmas morning.

“Looking forward to seeing him rip open presents,” Christy said. Randy was looking forward to seeing Richard “running cars across the floor.”

But now, Anthony and Richard’s stocking will remain untouched and their presents unwrapped.

The Owens family may be grieving, but they are comforted by their faith.

Anthony Owens and his son, Richard.

They hope their loss serves as a reminder to others: enjoy every moment with the people you love.

“Hold them close because you never know when the last day is,” Randy said. “Tell your family you love them every chance you get.”

The family is planning a funeral with full military honors for Anthony, who will be buried with his son.

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