Local sailor survives destroyer collision

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston family said they considered themselves blessed after their son survived the collision onboard the USS McCain.

On Tuesday, Eyewitness News spoke with Alton Williams Jr. He said his son, Alton Williams III, is a sailor on the vessel.

Williams III works as an interior communication specialist. His father said about three hours passed between the time he first heard about the incident and reached his son. Williams III texted his father from an overseas phone.

In follow up messages on Facebook messenger, Williams III told his father the collision threw him across the room. He said he raced back to try to help his shipmates. The Navy destroyer started taking on water.

"It wasn't his time," said Williams Jr. "It's beyond a blessing. In that particular place where he slept, it's a berthing compartment for 17 sailors. Seventeen sailors sleep in there. My son sleeps in there everyday and 10 of those sailors that went missing were in his berthing."

The Williams started a GoFundMe to help the 21-year-old replace the personal items he lost.

Family friends also are hosting a fundraiser at the Buffalo Wild Wings at 6840 FM 1960 in Humble on August 30.

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