CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A father was driving home to his girlfriend and their infant son when he was killed in a wrong-way crash, according to friends and Virginia State Police.
Kevin L. Grace, 23, of Petersburg, was driving east on Interstate 64 in Louisa, the night of September 21, when a Honda CR-V headed west in the eastbound lanes, hit Grace's Nissan Sentra.
Grace was returning home from visiting family in Charlottesville, where he was born and raised.
"He was a family man," Kevin's mom Wenona Messner said. "He was very overprotecting of me, his girlfriend, and their baby."
Kevin and his girlfriend Adilene Coreas had recently moved to Petersburg to be closer to her parents.
"I think what hurts the most is that before our little one was born, he promised to be the father he never had," Adilene said, "It just breaks my heart to a million pieces because he wanted to be a father. He was so looking forward to being a family and father."
His mother said Kevin would travel to Charlottesville frequently to deliver and fulfill orders people made off the website he created for his brand -- Laced Up Grace.
"He was passionate about his brand," his mom said. "He would come to Charlottesville while working on his clothing line. He would ship shoes, shirts, and hats to his customers."
"He was a very happy young man. He cared about his family," Messner added. "He had so much love for his girlfriend and his baby."
Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help Kevin's family pay funeral expenses and support his girlfriend and four-month-old son Sincere.
"I will miss his smile. I will miss him walking through the door," his mother said. "I keep checking my phone. I keep waiting for him to text."
The man who struck Grace's car also died as a result of the crash.
He was identified as Edward A. Jordan, 41, of Littleton, N.C.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, according to Virginia State Police.