ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The family of a local pastor, killed in a tragic accident on Saturday, is finally speaking out. They say Yvette Montgomery's love for ministry and the community won't end with her passing.
Her words of encouragement will be missed at the Tabernacle of Prayer, but Montgomery's family is making sure her memory still lives on.
"We gave our lives to The Lord on the same day and we been together ever since and there was no pulling us apart," said Apostle William Montgomery, Yvette's husband.
Wearing her wedding bands closer to his heart, Apostle Montgomery says he feels Yvette's spirit inside him.
His wounds are still fresh after his wife of 31 years was killed in a car crash over the weekend.
"I was just looking forward to her coming home," he said tearing up.
Yvette's friend, Apostle Linda Webb, was in the passenger seat when the car swerved off I-95 to dodge debris in the roadway. Webb survived.
"I remember the car swinging and hit that rail on my side and then when we spun back out she touched my hand and she said you're going to be alright," said Webb.
Webb says she then got out, just narrowly escaping another hit from oncoming traffic.
Though Yvette is gone, her impact on the community remains.
"When she would look at you, her smile would just automatically melt your heart because she had such a beautiful smile," said family friend Peggy Jones.
Many say she was a dynamic preacher, speaking at churches, events, even at the St. Johns County jail. A legacy that Apostle Montgomery says will live on.
"She would reach down into the gutter and pull somebody out and that's what I'm going to keep doing. We did it together and this may be a solo trip but we're gonna get it done," he said.
Yvette was expected to speak at an event this Friday for women at the Ponce de Leon Mall. Apostle Montgomery will now be there on her behalf to share just how virtuous a woman she was.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the St. Paul AME Church in St. Augustine.