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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been two days since a crash in Forest Hills killed three people. Now video has surfaced that shows the SUV seconds before it hit a tree.

The video shows the SUV speeding down Colonial Drive toward Forest Hills Drive. About ten seconds later a Wilmington Police car follows at about the same speed.

Click here to see video of SUV, police car

We showed the footage to private investigator Marc Benson, who has received training in accident reconstruction and speed measuring. By comparing the SUV to other cars in the surveillance footage, his opinion is that the SUV was going well over 60 miles per hour.

“If I was sitting off to the side and saw that car pass, I would say in excess of 70, 75 miles per hour,” Benson said. “There’s a slower car that appears to be going the speed limit, which would be 20 to 25 miles per hour. Next you will see a car accelerating through that same shot, and as that car accelerates through, you can tell it is going much faster than the speed limit.”

Benson says with the SUV going that fast on a residential street, the crash could have had a deadlier outcome, especially if another car had turned into its path.

“This is not a highway speed or interstate speed environment,” he said. “When you got people going though there at interstate speeds something bad is going to happen.”

Police say an officer followed the SUV after seeing it driving with its lights off on Wrightsville Avenue. By the time the SUV passed the camera on Colonial Drive, though, its headlights appear to be on.

The one survivor of the crash, Demond Jones, was listed in fair condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center Wednesday afternoon.

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92 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Video shows SUV, police car before crash"

Guest, just another
2015 years 10 months ago


“SDS” is the probably cause, sudden deceleration syndrome. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was in a car that was running from the sight of a cop for no reason, so fast that when they hit the tree the battery from the car flew 150 feet. I think thats why. Just my guess.

Keep blaming someone else, that officer didn’t force that car to crash. That’s the reality. Typical ignorant attitudes. Bringing God into your statement doesn’t do much for your argument when you go and state that you’re going to spend your last dollar trying to make the cop look bad. How very christian of you. Pathetic.

2015 years 10 months ago

I feel for the families and I really hate that these people died regardless of what their past was, but I haven’t seen anything that is slander. For something to be slander it has to be a lie and posting a person’s criminal record, no matter how unpleasant it may be, it is not slander.

2015 years 10 months ago

It is rediculous how friends of the deceased blame the cops for the accident. Wake up people. The accident was caused by a thug who was exceeding the speed limit in quite neighborhood. I feel for the two women who lost their lives but have no pity for the driver.

2015 years 10 months ago

First of all, you need to learn to spell. If you talk like you spell, you might want to go back to school.

I don’t approve of any of the nasty comments made. I don’t care what kind of criminals they were, nobody deserves to die like that. The real truth probably will never be known, but whomever the driver was made some bad choices and his/her choices led to the deaths of the others. Yes, there will be people that will blame the cops because they can’t get it into their heads that their loved one would do something as foolish as this, but it happens.

You can’t move on until you accept the fact that there are consequences to all choices made whether they be bad or good choices. Unfortunately, in this case, those choices led to deaths of innocent people. It could have been even worse, because he/she could have killed anyone out there walking or could have hit a home. Hearts are broken and lives are changed forever.

2015 years 10 months ago

This accident is a tragedy. Many lives were lost, and for the families and friends their lifes will never be the same. Hopefully the investigating officers can find a reason, no matter how absurd we think it is, as to why the driver was acting in the manner he was. The officers need to explain to the families how and why they have determined the cause and reason for the accident. Mr. Jones needs to reveal truthfully what he knows. He’s the only one who knows the answer factually as to why the driver was acting in this manner. I also have investigated accidents and know the long term effects it has on the families, friends and loved ones of those killed. No matter what the answer is it is never good enough to remove the pain that is now inflicted. The Wilmington Police Dept has several excellent accident investigators, who will explain to the family how they investigated the accident, determined what happened and address their questions. The truth for the victim’s families may be hard to hear, but at least they will have the truth, not hearsay or speculation. Hopefully this terrible accident will be evidence to other young drivers that a motor vehicle can injury or kill you.

Finally my prayers go out to the families, friends and love ones of the deceased. Mr. Jones you survived for some reason, so make your life a positive change for the better.


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