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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
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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.

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.

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Common name?

Demond Jones is a common name?

my heart goes out

I did not have the oppertunity to know these young people but as a resident of Leland my heart goes out to each and everyone of their family members and friends. I have lost alot of family and friends to accidents and can only imagine what you must be feeling. Please know that in time the pain of loosing someone will fade, but their memories will alway's remain.
Please keep in mind people, reguardless of the circumstances behind this accident, that the family and friends of these young men and women have lost someone that they love and care about very much. Word can hurt so please keep that in mind when you are posting things on here.

Driver has Criminal Background

My heart goes out for the dead, but know that the driver was a convicted felon --
Raphael Samuel, 22:
COMMON LAW ROBBERY (PRINCIPAL)
POSSESS SCHEDULE I (PRINCIPAL)
DRUG PARA - USE/POSSESS (PRINCIPAL)
POSSESSING STOLEN GOODS (PRINCIPAL)
WANTON INJ PER/PROP $200 & LS (PRINCIPAL)

This can be confirmed by doing an "offender search" at the NC Dept. of Corrections website

RIP

What does him having a criminal background have to do with his death. His past mistakes has absolutely nothing to do with his current status. It saddens me that you have to take out time to look up his faults instead of properly mourning. STOP LOOKING TO MAKE A SITUATION WORST BY YOUR NEGATIVE COMMENTS! You have no respect for the families or the problem at hand, find something better to do with your time than digrading his name.

so what

SO WHAT if the driver had a crimial background.. That dont give you the right to post it on here^^ It has nothing to do with it at all. ok Maybe he was drinking and driving and he shouldnt have, But you are so dis respectful to post that on here...

Repy post

Why does everything has to be negative from this post as u dnt see he attempted to change his old aspects of life around by going to Cape Fear Community College so why bash him of old charges there were young and very disorganized by being negative doesn't change how good of a person he is/was so I would respect you more if you don't talk about my brother like this if you have a problem with not confronting me face to face then I suggest u shut the heck up about what you don't kno abt sum one point blank period this is a equal comment on my behalf not a threat its a promise. Don't go talk about people you don't know. #just sayn (chris_cromartiejr@hotmail.com)

This is true. He does have a

This is true. He does have a criminal background. I went and looked myself. The police probably spooked him when they went past.

That is neither here nor

That is neither here nor there that they had a criminal history. It is also kind of funny that you would mention that as none of those offenses have anything to do with driving.

Nothing to do with driving??

Nothing to do with driving?? These idiots were driving at 10 P.M. without headlights on. They see a cop pass them and speed away. HMMMM, wanna bet they find something illegal when they search the vehicle? Grow up!

I need to grow up? Please

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.

Maybe not, but it would

Maybe not, but it would explain why he was speeding after he saw the police officer.

figures

Lights off and took off when they saw the cop.... wonder who they were about to rob?

hateful

YOU ARE SO IGNORANT AND HATEFUL. THEY WERE NOT OUT TO ROB ANYONE. UTS UNKOWN WHY THE DRIVER GOT SPOOKED BUT HE WAS SPEEDING THROUGH FOREST HILLS NOT ROBBING IT. HATEFUL MEAN PERSON U ARE.

.....

Whatever... The Darwin Award is his.

My condolences go out to the

My condolences go out to the families and friends of those lost in this horrible tragedy. I do hope that the readers who post here take a moment and think about what they are about to write. This is not the time for criticism or judgement, but a time to support those who lost loved ones.

the point

Seems some of the readers did think before they posted. They did back ground research on them. Sure did enlighten me!

AMEN

THANK YOU

TO ALL THE FAMILIES

I LOST MY PRECIOUS BIG COUSIN LAST NIGHT. YES IM MAD AND UPSET BECAUSE IM NOT GOING TO SEE HER NOMORE .. ALL MY LOVE GOES OUT TO EVERY ONE WHO LOST SOME ONE CLOSE TO THEM. NEVER TAKE ANYBODY FOR GRANTED CAUSE YOU DONT KNOW WHEN YOU GOING TO LOSE THEM.. R..II.PP BIG COUSIN (YASHICA)!!! IM TRYING TO STAY STRONG CAUSE SHE HAD PLANS SHE MADE WITH HER KIDS SHE TRUELY LOVED AND WILL ALWAYZ LOVE THEM....TO UNCLE ANTONIAL KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND LOVE YOU VERY MUCH AND TO HER LOVABLE BROTHER WATCH OVER THE FAMILIE AND KEEP YOUR HEADS UP TOO LOVE YALL!!!!! IN TEARS

I feel terrible for the

I feel terrible for the families of these kids. But...how many people who drive in this town will take a lesson here? Not many. In reality, the selfish actions of the driver of this SUV are what caused this accident. Don't like this comment? Tough. If more people would have concern for the safety of others on the road there wouldn't be a need for stories like this. This is an awfully high price to pay to be "cool".

My Prayers to all the families .

I had the same knock on my door on 9/11/10 and was told my daughter wasn't coming home .. she went to Heaven that early morning around 2:45am and so did 2 of her friends. and only one survied .. and it is a Mother and Fathers worst nightmare.. Please wear your seatbelts and watch your speed because it can save your life instead of leaving all your loves one behind... I wish my Angel( Daughter) so much and no matter how much I try I can't bring her back but I will always have my perious memories... My Prayers go out to each and every one of yall...

Dear Mom of an Angel ... My

Dear Mom of an Angel ... My heart and prayers go out to you.

From a parent who lost a child and know's what it's like to get "that knock" on the door.

right / wrong

Driving with no seatbelt. . . WRONG THING TO DO Driving with no lights. . . INSANE THING TO DO Driving at a fast rate of speed. . . WRONG THING TO DO. . . It's a shame three kids died in this wreck but they did contribute 100 percent to the cause. My symphathy to the families.

I stand corrected

I stand corrected. I had heard this was teenagers when in fact they are adults. Based on their history and what they were doing that night I would say they were up to no good. Why run from the police? That's a dead giveaway.

I understand from other news

I understand from other news media that their lights were off. There is a local ghost story about coasting down that road with lights off to hear a ghost. That may explain why they had those lights off.

speed bumps

It looks like the speed bumps did the job. Wonder who will get sued over this?

speed bumps

You are such a jack@@@@@ young people died but rest a sure its a rode one day we must travel no matter how you get there.......

speed limit

It doesn't help that Wilmington has the most CRAZY speed limits around. 45 MPH on Wrightsville Ave? That's just nuts! The entire length is residential and it has lots of hidden side streets that flow onto it. The kids in this county are being taught to drive at 45 -50 MPH to keep up with traffic on the main streets of this town. They probably don't know how to drive slow b/c they dare never taught that. Oh wait, they do have to slow down to park - my bad.

Think!!!

Does anyone on here ever think about the families that read these comments that have lost the lives of their young ones. And all you do is sit on here and argue about police, speeding, seat belts, and etc. OK they were speeding and not wearing seat belts. EVERYONE makes mistakes, NO ONE on this earth is perfect. What you should be doing is sending condolences to the families that lost someone special to them last night. I send my condolences to the families that lost their loved ones last night. And for what it's worth i hope these words may lift your spirits if only for a second. God has a plan for everyone some sooner than later. Stay strong in this time of hardship and may god bless these families. You watched over them when they were here and now they're watching over you. God Bless!

WELL SAID MY FRIENDIY

WELL SAID MY FRIENDIY

thank u...

My Cousin Yashica died in this accident that they speak so carelessly about... sitting with my family and watching her three year old try to call her and say "my mommy at the doctor" and having no one know how to really explain mommy is not coming home... my grandmother in her nineties cry and not eat... my family distraught but its amusement and just something else to criticize and talk about to these people because it wasn't them that was affected. Thank you and keep us in your prayers GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN AND LOVED BY MANY>>>>>RIP>>>>>>