Family reacts after man arrested in 2021 fatal crash

A man accused of causing a fatal wreck one year ago was taken into custody Monday.

Braxton Connell, 34, is charged with three counts of criminally negligent homicide for the deaths of Marty Green, Mary Hagadorn and Ashley Stewart.

Court records filed Tuesday reveal Connell was driving fast when he crossed over into oncoming traffic and smashed into the vehicle occupied by Green, Hagadorn and Stewart.

Green’s sister Tanya Boyd said life since the deadly crash has been devastating.

“Complete Hell,” Boyd said. “Miserable. Crying every day. Wishing they were here. Holidays, birthdays, everything, but there is no bringing them back.”

Green and Stewart died at the scene near the intersection of University Boulevard East and Wildwood Trace.

Hagadorn and Connell were transported to the hospital with serious injuries, where Hagadorn later died.

“It’s horrible,” Boyd said. “He took everything we had. My brother, my best friend Mary, which is my brother’s baby mama. They have a little girl together. I cry for her every day. Ashley, he took her five kids away from her. It’s sad. It’s really sad. I hope he gets what he deserves.”

After a year of waiting, the victims’ families said they’re relieved to finally take a step toward closure.

“Most definitely, it is a big step,” Boyd said. “But it is still going to take time. We are never going. It feels really good after a year. I feel like a lot of stress is gone. It feels good to be able to actually be able to breathe. It felt good to be able to actually be able to sleep. I have not even really been able to sleep for a year because of this. I wake up crying through the night having dreams about them you know. “He deserves what he gets because he took three lives: parents, brothers, sisters. He took them away from us. He gets what he deserves.”

Connell has since posted $19,000 bond and been released from the Tuscaloosa County Jail.

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