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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"

2015 years 10 months ago

–80mph or so in a residential neighborhood where the speed limit is 25.
–Speeding through a school zone. Yes I know it was 1030pm but its still a school zone.
–No Seatbelts
–Drugs found in the car
–Driving without headlights at 1030pm
–Trying to evade police.

The stupid shall be punished. The only good thing to come out of this is that these morons did not kill anyone else. This is a high foot traffic neighborhood where people are walking with their kids or dogs at all hours. I am also glad that the oak tree stopped them short before they were able to careen into someone’s living room. I do feel bad for the victim’s families. No one should have to go through losing a loved one, but everyone in that car was in some way responsible for this tragic accident.

And before anyone says I should mind my own business, well this accident occurred a few hundred yard from my house, so it could have been my living room these idiots crashed into instead of that oak tree.

Grand Ole Party
2015 years 10 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?

2015 years 10 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.

Das Weibstück
2015 years 10 months ago

Whatever… The Darwin Award is his.

2015 years 10 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 day yesterday spending it with those you love as these 4 families will never be the same.


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