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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.


Thanks for writing this. I

Thanks for writing this. I saw the comments this morning. They were so cold, jabbering on about seat belts, cops, speeders, blame, etc. while one person was trying to process his grief. He and his pain were invisible in the face of their crass indifference. For all of you who lost family or friends in this horrible incident, my heart goes out to you and I wish you strength of spirit.

WWAY Bloggers

you just talking to dead souls. They dont care about emotions or feelings of other people who have lost love ones. They dont even know what the word condolences mean. They just hide behind their keyboard and make comments in the worst situations of people lives. They who do this have never dealt with death or losing someone close to them if they even have a relationship to call close. My condolences to the families and know that people are still in this world who care and grieve along with you! You have my prayers.

elevator music?

...or is that violins I hear?

Speed Kills

Speed kills, young kids speed out late at night. Never a good mixture. I bet you the were speed towards Wrightsville Ave hit the speed bump right past the elementary school and lost control and hit the tree. Their are speeds bumps in that area for a reason.

It's sad that teenagers and young adults don't understand that speed kills. They don't get it until a loved one, friend, co-workers etc are killed. Now the community has been impacted by the loss of 3 friends, son, and daughters.

Will the teenagers ever get it or not?





Seat Belts?

I doubt (but hope) these folks were wearing their seat belts. Such a simple thing that can potentially save your life.

No matter where you sit in a vehicle please put on your seat belt.

It could mean the difference.


The speeders in this town are terrible. I see it every day, thank God they didn't hit some innocent person. My condolences to the families involved.

It's the cops in this town who are out of control

In a 24 minute drive I saw 6 separate police cars had 6 separate cars pulled over in a 2 mile stretch of Dow Road and Lake Park Boulevard on Saturday February 11 between 11 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. Great way to have visitors enter towns to shop on a Saturday.

In case you missed it

go back a few weeks on WWAY's website. There was a single car traffic fatality on Dow Rd. in which the driver's vehicle rolled over several times. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. It doesn't take a certified reconstructionist to determine that speed was a factor in that accident. Let's not even call it an accident because it was completely avoidable. Good for CBPD for enforcing the law. After all, it's for the safety of the public!

It took you 24 minutes?

24 minutes to travel a 2-mile stretch of Dow Rd. while witnessing 6 seperate drivers pulled over?? What were you driving, a 1958 schwinn tricycle with a busted pedal and a flat spot on the front tire? Geeeeez......
DOH!!!! It just occurred to me. Maybe YOU were one of those pulled over and is why it you you so long to go 2 miles?

6 cops had separate cars pulled over on CB lunch time Saturday

Mr. Officers give visitors a break! I saw this too on Saturday from my motor vehicle. CB cops had people pulled over about every half mile from the bridge until I turned and crossed back into town on Harper and back down Lake Park Blv. Then back across the bridge. I stopped at McDonald's drive-thru and the Charter office and had to turn right on Dow Rd. since it's a mandatory right turn from the back of the Charter office! A Saturday morning in the middle of winter is not the time to make visitors and locals coming into town feel like they need to send an alert message to all their friends to stay off the roads! Who is in charge of police training down there since the Chief left in that scandal?

If I have a choice of 1.

If I have a choice of 1. letting unsafe drivers get their way so they can shop in our city...or 2. having them pulled over and cited for unsafe movements...I pick #2 every time. This city needs as much support from police patrol on our streets as we can get...hands down!!!
Try living in a bigger (or major city), and as you witness more police patrolling on their streets then here...maybe you won't criticize seeing 6 vehicles pulled over by police. One of those 6 could have nailed you by running a red light/rear ended you/etc. Thank the police for pulling them...don't complain. But from your comments I don't believe you'll listen to much reason any way...will you?

I would rather them be

I would rather them be ruthless than be slack. I am not saying the WPD is slack by any means. Just like in Wrightsville Beach, we get a lot of tourist traffic, which can be dangerous as a lot of times they don't know where they are going. Also, keep in mind on Dow Rd. there are so many deer (white tail deer kill more people each year than sharks do) that drivers need to keep an eye out for. I just don't understand why people always feel the need to critize all PD's. Either they do their job too well or not well enough in peoples opinion. Until you are in their shoes, just be happy we have people who are willing to do that job.

Criticize? Police? Nahhhhhh...

If you've spent any time here at all, you must realize that there are tons of "armchair" professionals. All the way from lawyers, to engineers, to doctors and...yes...police too.

A bunch of faceless "experts" that sit back in their cushy armchair that criticize, judge and demean, but likely wouldn't know the business end from the butt of a weapon.

But, it's open forum here. My experience with police has always been positive, I'm not a criminal and therefore have no disdain. I've lived at Carolina Beach for over 8 years now, been through many public events and license checks. Never had a problem one.

Sure is a

great way for non law abiding citizens to "welcome" weekend shoppers into town.




If speeding wasn't an issue

If speeding wasn't an issue then the police officers wouldn't have to pull them over. I hate driving in Wilmington. I go into panic mode every time I cross the bridge going into Wilmington.

Take it from a former

Take it from a former officer.........many things besides speeding will get you pulled. A burned out brake lamp, crossing the center line, failure to signal, failure to stop at a stop sign...the list goes on. Just because a car was stopped by LEO does not mean they were speeding.

I stand corrected

I agree with you. I got pulled for out of date tags last year. I guess maybe I shouldn't have been so specific with my statement. Here's my correction: If you aren't breaking any traffic laws then you shouldn't have to worry about being pulled.

CB Cops are known to be bad

Carolina Beach cops are known to be pretty ruthless. I think they are in a category all their own. Please don't compare them to WPD. Thanks.


. . on the story here. Three people lost their lives.

Cops are doing their jobs

Look here cops in Wilmington & CB are doing their jobs. They are here to protect us and our community. Carolina beach is small town family oriented you have your locals and your tourist. People come to our town to get away! Speed limits are posted for a reason. Yes this is the off season for CB so they are doing what they need to do. If you get a speeding ticket in CB you deserve it if you were speeding. If you weren't take it to court. If you get a speeding ticket it will make you think twice next time about speeding.

I am glad they had so many people on Dow pulled over last weekend! they are doing their jobs. Y'all don't understand speed kills.

Think of it this way if the cop hadn't pulled that driver or drivers over for speeding and that driver(s) hurt, or killed someone or killed them selves how would that make you feel. So maybe that speeding ticket they get could save someones life!

Also on Forest Hills road where the young adults / teenagers were traveling there are speed bumps thru out that whole street. So i am sure they were out joy riding getting a thrill of speeding and hitting a speed bump. Well their joy ride killed them and injured one. Speed bumps are in place for a reason. It's a matter if drivers being smart and not being stupid. Now the families must live the rest of their lives without their kids. Also the parents of the teenager who was driver has it worse knowing their son or daughter who was driving killed not only him or her self but 2 other lives.

Think about that next time you see radar set up!

If the speed bump caused the

If the speed bump caused the accident, can Wilmington be held accountable? Before you say "no", it was the speeder's fault, remember the cop that was killed a while back on Shipyard answering a call. He swerved to miss a box in the road, lost control and hit a tree. The guy the other cops were chasing was charged with his death. So, ponder your answer before you post it. My point is, if the speed bump had not been there, would they have been alive today regardless of their speeding?

This is the same story that

This is the same story that come to mind when I started reading these comments. And that is all I will say.

Speed bumps dont kill

Speed and ignorance kills. Speeds bumps are intended to SLOW people down not speed driver over it loose control and crash into a tree.

How stupid are you to think the city would be charged in this. Its called teens, speed, and inexperience.

Also when they cop swerved to hit the box if he hadn't been chasing after someone he never would have swerved, and got into an accident. So rightfully so the suspect got charged as he should have been.

Abby..looks like you missed

Abby..looks like you missed the whole point. Please read my post again. Even though they were speeding, they might not have lost their lives had the city chosen not to place a hazard in the roadway. Think about it...even those with the most feeble minds should understand this.

Ponder this

If Dodge had not made the vehicle, would they have been in that SUV driving along? Lawsuit against Dodge?
Had someone not planted that tree at that location, they would not have hit it. Lawsuit against the tree planter?
Had someone not produced the gas to go in that vehicle and sold it to them, they would not have been able to drive it. Lawsuit against the fuel refinery and the station that sold it?
Point is.....that is a stupid question and our court system has failed us allowing all of these ridiculous lawsuits.

Ponder this, too, the tree

Ponder this, too, the tree was not in the traveled portion of the road. The Dodge was meant to transport poeple on roadways. Placing any obsticle in the ROADWAY that could cause someone to lose control of his vehicle even if they ARE speeding should not be done. Private areas or parking lots, OK, but public streets, no. I feel that this is something that should be challenged in court. I personally think the plaintiffs would have a good case.


Actually that tree may have saved others lives cause if it had not stopped them they might have hit a house.

Ponder this

Drive like you have some brains and none of this will matter.