The Thomas family received tragic news on April 15. Chyna Thomas, Isaiah Thomas’ sister, died after a car accident in Federal Way, Washington. According to the Boston Globe, the accident occurred about 5 a.m. local time on the morning of April 15. Chyna was 22 years old at the time of the accident.
According to Seattle Kiro 7 News, witnesses saw Chyna’s Toyota Camry driving normally but the car started to slowly drift toward the shoulder of the highway. Kiro 7 detailed the story:
‘All of a sudden it started to drift very casually onto the left shoulder,’ State Patrol spokesman Trooper Nick King said. The car traveled about 50 feet partially off the roadway until it hit a Jersey barrier.
‘That vaulted the vehicle head-on into the sign post,’ King said. The car came to rest on top of the barrier and against a large metal pole holding a carpool sign on the shoulder of the freeway.
Washington state trooper Rick Johnson posted this photo of the accident on Twitter:
At the time of the initial tweet, Chyna had not been identified as the casualty from the one-car accident. Johnson later detailed the driver (Chyna Thomas) was not wearing a seat belt.
According to Chyna’s FaceBook page, she went to Tacoma School of the Arts and worked at FedEx as a package handler. Her profile notes she was from Tacoma, but lived in Seattle. The two cities are about an hour apart.
Isaiah is a star point guard for the Boston Celtics and grew up in Tacoma like his younger sister. He played college basketball at the University of Washington located in Seattle and still has strong ties to the area.
The Boston Celtics issued a statement after the tragedy. “We are terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Chyna Thomas. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Celtics organization are with Isaiah and his family,” the Celtics’ statement said.
According to ESPN, Isaiah did not find out about the accident until after practice when fellow Tacoma native Avery Bradley pulled him away from a media session.
Isaiah’s father, James, spoke with the Boston Globe after the tragedy. “It’s a crucial time for our family right now,” James told the Boston Globe.
Isaiah played in the Celtics’ opening playoff game against the Bulls close to 24 hours after the death of his sister. He was visibly emotional during pregame activities but received a rousing ovation from the Boston fans.
Isaiah had a stellar game finishing with 33 points, six assists and five rebounds. He declined to speak with the media after the game.