Gone Too Soon: 36-Year-Old Atlanta Community Activist Killed In Highway Accident

- By Bossip Staff

Margaret Kargbo Killed In Tanker Crash That Also Claimed The Life Of Wheelchair Activist Frank Barham

While attending an event at the High Museum in ATL on Thursday we learned of the tragic death of Margaret Kargbo, who was a friend to some of our staff.

Via Burnaway.org reports:

A tragic accident has claimed the life of one of Atlanta’s promising young art professionals and community activists, Margaret Kargbo, age 36, as well as disability activist Frank Barham, 60. The two were killed around 4pm on Wednesday, May 20.

Kargbo was working on the Wheel 2 Live project, for which Barham was traveling in his wheelchair 302 miles from Atlanta to Savannah, 30 miles per day, to raise awareness for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Kargbo was a passenger in the van escorting Barham on GA Hwy 21, near the Effingham/Screven County line, when a loaded gas tanker tractor-trailer crashed into the van, killing Kargbo and Barham instantly. The driver, 34-year-old Carrie Johnson, was removed from the van before it exploded in flames, and airlifted to the Doctor’s Hospital of Augusta, where she is in critical condition.

The tanker driver, 46-year-old Kenneth W. Richards of North Augusta, South Carolina, was not injured. The Georgia State Patrol will determine whether to press charges following an investigation.

This is just devastating. It hits very close to home because members of our staff were friends with Margaret as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of both Kargbo and Barham.

Here’s a little more about her:

Kargbo studied marketing at Howard University before moving to Atlanta. She was involved in a number of social programs, and worked with numerous organizations over the years. From 2007 to 2011, she did public relations for the National Black Arts Festival, and was currently the public affairs director of the nonprofit Women Engaged, whose goal is to help women be more involved in the political process. Her Facebook page, now filled with posthumous condolences, also contains many posts by Kargbo addressing and encouraging strong, independent women.

Known by her friends as Maggie, Kargo was “well known and well loved” in the community, says friend Kimberly Binns (BURNAWAY’s outreach coordinator). “She was all about making the city a better place.”

She was a founding member of The Ladies Board, a social and charitable organization that connects women of African descent; a steering committee member for Idea Capital; and a board member of WRFG radio. Among the many organizations she supported was BURNAWAY, where she was one of the first volunteers when the site launched in 2008 and had continued to help out every year, including at our ArtCrush fund-raiser this past March.

According to Binns, “Maggie’s sister, niece and nephew had moved in with her a couple of years ago [following her brother-in-law’s death]. She rearranged her life to accommodate them, finding a house so that they could all live together.”

It seems so incredibly fair that two people have been taken from the planet while doing work for good. We know Heaven has some new angels. We pray that Carrie Johnson will make a full recovery from the injuries she suffered in the accident as well.

A GoFundMe page has been established by Kargbo’s family to help cover the costs of her funeral and a celebration page has been set up on Facebook.

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