Daughter of popular coach: 'We prayed for our mama'

KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Beloved coach Sonya Burgess lost her life tragically during a traffic accident in Williamsburg County on Monday. On Wednesday, investigators arrested 37-year-old Daveline Holmes for reckless homicide.

"I was saying 'Why, God, why?' Why did you make this person bump into my mom and get into a car accident? She was always a good person,'" said Mariana Burgess, the 8-year-old daughter of Sonya Burgess.

Coach Burgess, as she was often called, was many things to many people in the Kingstree community. She was a coach, a teacher, a mentor, and most importantly a loving wife and mother to three young children.

"Every time I needed something, she was there for me," said Mariana Burgess.

Wise beyond her years and forced to grow up much too soon, all after witnessing the life of her mother snatched away before her very eyes.

"I miss her so much," said Mariana Burgess. "I'm just very sad that happened to her."

Troopers say Daveline Holmes pulled out in front of Mariana Burgess, her mom, and two siblings on Monday night.

"She started swerving. The next thing you know, it started flipping. When it flipped, my mama got thrown out of the car," the 8-year-old said. "We prayed for our mama. I said, 'Mom, mom, wake up -- I still need you.'"

Troopers say Holmes fled the scene but by Wednesday she faced a judge.

"I strongly believe that my wife would be alive had she stopped to go check on what just happened," said Marcus Burgess.

Even in grief, Sonya's husband of 13 years has no anger toward the woman who changed his family's life forever.

"Accidents happen. Things happen," he said.

Those who loved Coach Burgess say she left a lasting impact on and off the court while coaching at Kingstree High School.

"She wanted the girls to be competitive. You might not win every game but we want you to be competitive," he said.

Even though her mom's no longer here, Mariana Burgess said she still feels her mom's presence and takes comfort in knowing she's in a better place.

"I want people to know that she's still coaching from above and she's coaching in peace," she said.

A memorial service is scheduled for Burgess this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Kingstree High School.