Virginia father dies in Christmas day crash in Georgia caused by drunken driver, authorities say


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A family and community is mourning after a Norfolk, Virginia man died in a car crash authorities say was caused by a drunken driver in Georgia.

Billy Snyder, 45 from Norfolk, lost his life in the crash.

He was on his way to Florida with his wife, Megan, their 2-year-old son and 12-year-old nephew when a drunken driver slammed into their car, Megan Snyder told 10 On Your Side. It happened on Interstate 95 in Georgia, just four hours from their destination on Christmas morning.

Megan Snyder told WAVY in a message that it has been like a nightmare she cannot wake from.

“Our marriage, our friendship; it was so unique, so special, a true love like no other. I cannot imagine a life, a world without him in it,” she said.

Friends who have known Billy Snyder for decades said he was the happiest they had ever seen him over the past few years.

“He just had William, he found his soulmate and his life mate, and it’s rare,” Jake Burleson said.

Burleson knew Billy Snyder as “Fraggle.” He was his best friend for more than two decades.

“I haven’t been able to stop crying… it’s a huge loss in my life,” Burleson said.

Megan Snyder was driving the car when police say a drunken driver hit them going more than 100 mph.

Their 12-year-old nephew and 2-year-old son sustained bruises and scratches in the crash, but are OK.

She shared a heartbreaking message, which was included on a GoFundMe page for the family.

“My body is numb and my heart is broken. Broken into pieces that will never, ever be put back together… This man was EVERYTHING to me. He was taken from me. His life was stolen. He was taken from the life we have built together. This unbelievable love we have, we were truly made for one another. I have no idea how to continue on without him.”

Longtime coworker Pete Monsam told WAVY Billy Snyder’s death is “one of the most unfortunate and sad things that I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”

Monsam worked with Billy Snyder first on a U.S. Navy submarine in the 1990s and again when he joined the team at Oceaneering in Chesapeake, where Billy Snyder was an engineer.

“He went through a lot to get to the best place he ever was in his entire life,” Monsam said.

Billy Snyder has a grown daughter from a former relationship and was ecstatic to be a father again when his son was born.

“His eyes would light up — that’s what he lived for and he couldn’t wait to get out of work to get home and be with his wife and son,” Monsam said.

Billy and Megan Snyder were more than just husband and wife: they were best friends and workout partners. They both taught CrossFit classes.

A GoFundMe set up for the family surpassed $20,000 in just three hours and had reached more than $67,000 by Monday night. The fundraiser served as a testament to their impact on others, who felt their love and now their pain.

Georgia state troopers arrested 33-year-old Brandon Mack in connection with Billy Snyder’s death. He’s been charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI and hit-and-run.

Burleson said he will be at the trial to look him in the face and tell him what he’s done.

“I’m going to miss him the rest of my life,” Burleson said, of his friend.

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