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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several families are mourning tonight after a car crash killed three people last night in Wilmington. It happened at 10:22 p.m. in the Forest Hills neighborhood. Investigators say a SUV with four people slammed into a tree.

The driver, Raphael Samuel, 22, of Wilmington, and and two passengers, Shatia Hankins, 25 of Wilmington, and Yashica White, 22, of Leland, died. A fourth passenger, 30-year-old Demond Jones, of Wilmington, survived.

Alongside debris from the crash, Tuesday friends dropped off flowers.

“Life is too short,” said Cornelius Nixon, a friend of Samuel. “That’s all I can say, man. You see a person here, and then they’re gone the next day… Life is too short man.”

Several residents is Forest Hills say the impact was so bad that it felt like the suv had actually hit their home.

Wilmington police say Hankins and White died at the scene. Jones and Samuel were taken to the hospital, where Samuel died.

“Like I said, he’s a good friend. That’s all I can say about him. He was a good friend,” Nixon said.

The cause of the crash is still being looked into. Police say a WPD officer spotted the vehicle driving without lights just moments before the crash. That officer then turned around to follow the SUV, keeping his lights and siren off. Detectives say the vehicle took off, and moments later the officer found the SUV smashed against this tree.

Police say none of the people in the SUV had their seat belt on at the time of the crash.

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122 Comments on "Police identify crash victims, say none had seat belts on"

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LAWRENCE LENNON
2016 years 2 months ago

LETS SAY YOU ARE LATE FOR A BUSSINESS MEETING AND YOU RUNNIN LATE OR YOUR WIFE IS LATE FOR HER APPOINTMENT AT THE NAIL PLACE AND SHE SPEEDING TO GET THERE (AND I PROMISE U THERE IS PLENTY OF PAPER WORK ON IT). THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE A RECORD BUT THEY STILL BROKE THE LAW!! SO THERE WRONGE, AND THEY ALSO TRYNA DOWN THERE COFFEE THEN THROW THAT OUT THE WINDOW DRIVING THRU THE HOOD. THEN THEY LOOK BOTH WAYS FOR COPS AND WHEN ITS CLEAR YALL RUN THE STOP LIGHT. THATS ALL BREAKING THE LAW AND IF U KEEP… Read more »

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Emily
2016 years 2 months ago

I need to grow up? Please Milo. Why don’t you reread my comment and stop making snap judgements about not only me, but the victims. None of those offenses have anything to do with poor driving habits as the person above me seemed to think by bringing up their criminal past. I am simply stating that maybe we don’t need to dig up dirt on every single person that ever has had something bad happen to them and just pay a little respect to the people that loved them. I hope you had a wonderful… Read more »

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Das Weibstück
2016 years 2 months ago

Whatever… The Darwin Award is his.

Guest
withsympathy
2016 years 2 months ago

As I said before, this is not the time or place to judge or point fingers. I guess some people don’t get that. I did not know any of these young victims or their families, but the fact remains there are lives lost and loved ones left behind.If people can’t offer condolences or fond memories to share, they should just keep the negative comments to themselves and allow the families to grieve with respect. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of the friends and families of these young victims of thie horible tragedy.

Guest
Grand Ole Party
2016 years 2 months ago

The only postive thing about all this is that three out of the four will no longer be around to commit crimes anymore. Positive enough for you?

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