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Community mourning mother and son killed in fiery crash on I-12

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BATON ROUGE - Family and friends are still reeling over the unexpected death of Keland Simmons and his mother, Yolanda. The two were killed in a crash involving several vehicles on I-12 Saturday.

"It's definitely difficult to lose such an incredible kid like him," said Timothy Credeur, Simmons' martial arts instructor.

Simmons and his mother, both Baton Rouge natives, were killed when an 18-wheeler jackknifed and caused the major crash in Covington Saturday afternoon. Credeur says Simmons and his mother were some of the most pleasant people you could ever know.

"I'll always remember his smile and the way he made people feel... And the incredible experience that he gave, not just himself, but everyone around him."

Simmons spent much of his time practicing mixed martial arts since he was about 16 years old. He participated in three professional fights and several amateur events.

On Sunday, the neighbor of Keland and Yolanda visited the site of the crash and paid his respects. He left behind a flag and took some of the avocados that were being carried by the 18-wheeler that caused the crash.

"The best neighbors on the planet and they were the nicest people I've ever met," the man was heard saying in a Youtube video. "I'm going to try and get a few of these avocados to try and grow some in their memory."

Timothy Credeur says it was an honor to coach such a good young man who had a heart for others.

DreGiles, Keland's uncle, started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses for the family. It's raised over $1,500 in donations, with a goal of $10,000.

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