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Police identify crash victims, say none had seat belts on

READ MORE: Police identify crash victims, say none had seat belts on

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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Less crime now!!

It is sad that we had 3 people die at once. BUT after looking at there records all I can say is the City of Wilmington is now a safer place to live. Sorry family and friends but the truth hurts.

God says not to judge

You shouldnt judge people. Just because someone has a record does not mean that they were any danger to you! Did you ever ask yourself what kind of predicament they were in to do what the "LAW" says they did? Now since im sure you have not thought about that here's some perspective i am a white female 26 years old and i was raised in a good home.I had a baby at 18 and my childs fathers mother was Indian , so she was put at the top of the New Hanover county housing list! So we moved to creek wood. The first thing I would say is that there are some wonderful people who live there and have lived there for 20 + years. The second is that at first it was very hard to live there for me. When I first got there I had police pulling me over every time I pulled out of creek wood EVERY TIME , Like 3,4,5 times a day. They were judging me! They thought I was buying drugs! Then I got to know some people some good some bad. some good people with a record and some bad people with a record. Now let me ask you if the bad people have records and sell drugs who do you think buy those drugs?? The rich kids, the rich men , the poor drug addict who has to beg bum and ROB people to get his drugs, the doctors , you might say no not the doctors, but I say yes they do. How do you think they get though med school. with that being said let me ask you who you think would rob you or rape you first a drug dealer with a pocket full of money who im sure If they wanted a girl they could pick one up with no problem or a drug addict wanting to get high or already high wanting sex..Also this country has turned away from god in so many ways. we need to find Jesus and read his word. Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:2 For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye. To the family Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

I am so amazed at some of

I am so amazed at some of these comments. No matter what happend there were children left behind I knew shatia she was my friend and her baby is just the sweetest thing in the world these were young ppl who worked for a living had children to take care of and were enjoying their youth so if you didnt know them personally please dont judge because alot of ppl are suffering right now

As I said before, this is

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.


While I understand your frustration about negative comments on this forum, the fact is that this IS a public forum where anyone can post any thoughts, negative or positive, on a posted article. If the family doesn't want to see nagative things on this site, they should look somewhere else for comfort.

People are going to post what they want, when they want; and there's no stopping them. Families would be better off talking to other family members, church families, and friends, if they want positve feedback. None of these type forums are know for happy, touchy-feelie type postings. It's just a simple fact.

Auto Deaths and the officer

Why did the officer not put on his lights? What does the victim's record have to do with the accident.

Sounds fishy to me.

...and if he had turned on

...and if he had turned on his lights, then he'd have been blamed for making them run and the crash would have been his fault. I just love the American mentality.

The officer

What part of it SOUNDS fishy to you stupid? Why is that fishy? Officers follow cars, it't part of the investigation process. Any further stupid questions?


I cant explain how hurt i am to hear such news my heart goes out to the other families who have also lost someone in the crash... You know they say things happen for a reason and put it in gods hands that this had to happen for a reason...smh it hurts me to see how ruthless you naive people are in wilmington when all you do is slang names after their deaths...its ashame and it makes me think that you people just rather throw dirt on them than rather say how sorry you are to the families instead pointing fingers....smh what it was someone in your family or someone you knew that was in the accident....and for the police department to even begin to put their criminal history means nothing t but hatred to the situation ima need for them to get it together....... I LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER MAY YOU REST IN PARADISE RAPHAEL SAMUELS.... <3

You all have a problem

Stop talking about the dead and injured in such a negative light. What the heck are yall problems. How dare you decide to post negative information about the victims at hand. We have 3 people dead and one serverly injured and all you have time to do is look up their criminal backgrounds and post up that information and automatically assume the worst of these you indivisuals. That only shows you have no time on your hands and want nothing morethan to feel superior by bringing the life of another to shame. You should feel shamed to have to degrade another to make yourself feel better....


RIP Ralph and the two girls!! hollow tip is supporting the family and will be in market north shooting a video this week inviting everyone to join or come out and support, be sure to add hollow tips facebook page
or on twitter @hollowtip910

Well Hollow Tip

will you try to make something positive from this?

Will you stress the importance of using seat belts?

At least 2, if not all of the deceased, would likely have survived had they been wearing seatbelts.

So why not do more than just promote yourself? Turn this tragedy into a lesson for all.

car crash: God has a plan for my family member who servived

Who cares about what the victim of the crash was convicted of in his past..?? Ignorant people. My family member survived by the grace of God and thats what matters...stop your ignorance. And mt heart goes out to the friends and familt of the driver and other victims of this horrific event...

The guy Ramon interviewed -- friend the deceased

WWAY -- The guy Ramon interviewed above -- Cornelius Nixon, a friend of Samuel (deceased) who is quoted saying ""Life is too short," has himself a major criminal background. Gee Whiz! "Birds of of a feather stick together it seems..."

POSSESS SCHEDULE II (PRINCIPAL) -- two counts at different dates

Confirm on NC Offender website -- FYI don't be pals with felons.

2/4 passengers in SUV were convicted FELONS

Demond Jones -- only surviver -- is also a convicted Felon: ROBBERY W/DANGEROUS WEAPON (PRINCIPAL) served 6 years + 5 months, convicted in NHC. Also one female passenger has misdemeanor record. So 3/4 were recently engaged in criminal activity. This can be confirmed by doing an "offender search" at the NC Dept. of Corrections website.

Yes he WAS!!!!!!

Yes he WAS a convicted felon Yes he did do time and that part of him is done! Demond is a father a husband and a friend to many ppl and if you know him like I do you would know he IS a changed man!! God has a plan for my husband and it IS going to play out!!


No one deserves this. Too young :( Prayers to the family and friends........ Say's who? Say's Kblue!

I have prayed and will

I have prayed and will continue to pray for all of the families involved...and I will also be praying for those that are judging and being inconsiderate to these families and their loved ones...May God Bless you all...and to the families and friends of all of the young people involved my deepest sympathies....We all need prayer and to pray for our youth...there are also small children involved....please have repspect in the same manner you all would want respect at a time like this.

and what relevance does any

and what relevance does any of this have to do in their deaths? someone lost a family member, friend, son/daughter and your speaking on their downfalls. do you know anything positive about them ? did you also include that in your search ? im sure you didnt smh. youre a worthless human being.

Something positive...

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?

Demond Jones

So what exactly does a person's criminal history have to do with the death of three people? The survivor maybe a convicted felon but thats irrelevant to the fact, grow up!


Guess it's not true only the good die young.

You Heartless Pig!

Three people lost their lives and the survivor who happens to be my cousin is seriously injured and all you have to think about is looking up his criminal record! How about you take the time to think about them all people someone's child, parent, brother or sister. Whether anyone had a criminal record has nothing to do with this accident.


Your comment about this event is so ignorant. who cares what their record is.?? It has NOTHING TO DO WUTH THIS CAR CRASH.

It probably does have

It probably does have everything to do with this car crash because they were probably speeding in order to distance themselves from the police officer.


The actions of one's past does not decrease the value of a life.
To rush and pass judgement like you have does nothing but decrease the value of your own self worth. Furthermore it shows not only that you are a judgmental individual it proves that you have a lack of compassion for others and their families. It displays the negative character of the person you are and your first comment is disturbing and cruel enough although I know none of you, to make others and myself come to the conclusion that if you were one of the deceased, then this world just might possibly be a more positive place.
There is a time and place for everything, and while factual, this was neither the time or place for such atrocious a post.

how dare you sit here and

how dare you sit here and talk about a dead persons pass and what they may or may nit have done you are just sick you dont even know these people i use to chill with these people on a day to day bases they are not bad people at all like i said before you dont know there struggle so dont come on here saying anything if you dont know them on a personal level because in the end god dont like ugly so in the end these people will always get the last laugh and they are in the heaven gates no longer with a stuggle god bless you for being so rude and people like you wonder why the world the way it is its because of hateful people as your self god bless you

what does that have to do with the cost of tea in Chna?

Peoples lives were taken, now is not the time for heartless BS about their criminal records. Families still mourn, people have died, and its unfortunate that people like you choose to post ignorant posts at a time of grief and heartache.

I would like to know what

I would like to know what their records have to do with the fact that these people are deceased. Ignorance like this upsets me !!

Dear Mitch - Demond Jones is

Dear Mitch - Demond Jones is a common name, so where is your proof that he is the the same person you looked up? And if it is the same person, does that make him a bad person for being a convicted felon? What exactly is your point in bringing up POSSIBLE prior convictions? Let their families grieve and go bother someone else with your useless and inaccurate information.