make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

FIRST ON 3: Video shows SUV, police car before crash

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Video shows SUV, police car before crash

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.

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.


i agree they were both

i agree they were both friends and collaeges of mine and i am keeping all of you in my prayers god bless they were both great and amazing people and are truly blessed

May God be with everyone of

May God be with everyone of the family members and give thim a peace like they need so much! Loosing a family member hurts no matter if its a sickness or accident. No matter who is at fault, they are still loved, cherished and will be deeply missed. I pray that God's grace be with each and everyone of you!! My thoughts and prayers are with you today and in the future. God Bless!


I pray for your family...I also pray you go back to school...


Turn off the caps lock.

Second, it appears the school system is at fault by your grammar and spelling.

There's sympathy for the family, but when you all attack innocent cops and trees, then its just not right. Neither one had any idea that they were going to have to witness such a stupid act, a waste of life.

I blame the driver, no one else. So should you.



The majority of your kind never takes any responsibility and always wants to blame someone else for your misfortunes. Wake up.


Think about this; the officer is lying. The SUV had daytime running lights. Even if the headlight switch was off, the headlights were on. Thats the way DRL's work.

The fault of the crash is squarely on the shoulders of the driver. I'm not arguing that. But why would the officer say that the vehicle didnt have its lights on when that clearly is not the case?

The DRLs can easily be

The DRLs can easily be disabled if desired. Anyone wanting to run at night undetected knows how to easily disable them. Most times, just pushing the parking brake down 1 click (not enough to engage brakes)will turn them off. Not all vehicles have them to begin with.

I bet he didn't have a

I bet he didn't have a driver's license, nor insurance either. But I guess that wasn't his fault either. It's never the thug, criminal's fault. Always blame someone else.

every time something

every time something happen's with a black male why do people like you always think they are thug's or something? it's doesn't really matter because somebody still at the end of the day lost a son, a brother, a grandson. don't judge people that you don't know.

I didn't see race mentioned

I didn't see race mentioned anywhere in his post. You're the one who brought up race. A thug can white OR black or purple. A thug is a thug, no matter what race.

It isn't every time

But if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, you my friend have a duck. Now replace duck with thug/criminal and you have this crew.
We are all judged by our past and current actions. Too bad if you don't want to be judged.


Regardless of what this cell phone video shows; WPD did not drive this car full of children into the tree. WPD did not put them behind the wheel and tell them to drive with no seatbelt. Bad choices produced bad consequences.

Although, I am sorry to the family for your losses and hope you find some closure at some point in time. Please do not blame your anger of loss on the people who put their lives in danger each day to protect you.

As I understood, one man did live and I'm sure the officer responding had something to do with that.

Lights or no Lights -- these criminals were DIM

I think the criminal background of the deceased men in the car is very important -- these were hardened criminals -- and from judging from the comments of family members and friends (many of which are themselves felons, just run their names through NC Dept. of Corrections "Offender Search") they only looked the other way and acted to enable a life of drug use and mischief. What about the victims of their robberies? What about the safety of the children in Forest Hills? The battery of the SUV flew in the air 150 feet after impact -- could have killed a sleeping child in a home. This was not an accident, but rather years of poor decision making culminating in an reckless event. Stop telling me "their in heaven now" because there is the thing called judgement and hellfire.

Agreed 100% with Guest5442.

Agreed 100% with Guest5442. So many crying hearts like to look into the blame game and find a scape goat. How about we look at the concept of taking responsability for your own actions? Anyone heard of that? These people decided to drive at a ridiculous speed in a residential neighborhood filled with people who actually obey the law. They made adult decisions, and faced adult consequences. If you want to drive like an idiot and kill yourself, do it in your own hood.

like really you are just the

like really you are just the people that are going to be going to hell. who gave you the right to say something like that. like you people are so dumb that you just saying whatever you want to say and not thinking about the family. you don't have any say so on who goes to hell or up above. the people who judge is the people who don't go through them good old gates.

Criminal or not

Mind your busy my cousin was killed she had 2 children never had a record and if she did it doesn't matter the all were someones child! How dare you speak like that. If they were in the hood would you be concerned then. Forest Hills or not the driver had no business running and the cops had no business chasing them in FOREST HILLS! Jamontea and Shandella no longer have their monther, Mya no longer has her mother. You better thank GOD it wasn't you or let alone your child!

Criminal, probably

Its not that if "they were in the hood", its what were they doing speeding with their lights off in Forest Hills? I'm guessing no good. The females probably didn't have records, but what were they doing with guys that did?

Its a shame for the children, but this isn't a black thing, or a bigot thing, its a CHOICE thing. They made dumb, poor choices. Sometimes this is what you get. Maybe Jamontea, Shandella, and Mya will wear their seatbelts when they run with thugs, (when thugs are running) because thats the way these girls were raised, so that's what their future holds next.

I don't understand...

I don't understand how a thug is made a saint for harming someone else or putting the general public in harm's way. Are you twisted or something?

Given that the officer did

Given that the officer did not turn on his lights or sirens, I don't see how you can say that he was chasing them. The video shows him following at a distance. I feel sorry for the family members of those who died, but all three of the ones that died are accountable for their own deaths and the injured one is accountable for his own injuries.

If she had been home tending

If she had been home tending to her kids like she should have been, she would be alive today.

wow..i cannot believe you

wow..i cannot believe you have the audacity to argue with this family member during their time of grief. it doesnt matter if they had a criminal background, if the headlights were on or off which everyone seems to be arguing about..these young people lost their lives and all ya'll can do is find the bad in them and argue. its sad that the world we live in today always has to find the bad in someone just to justify themselves and their my opinion i think everyone should shut up about it and leave these people alone. if you were in their shoes and lost someone and got on here to find nothing but bad remarks how would you feel?? 90% of you on here are heartless a holes who need to keep quiet if there's nothing nice that can come out of your mouths. i want to say i am sorry to all of the family members for what they are going through and just know that there are people out there who care no matter what..the whole world isnt as hateful as these people are..


I have to agree.

Seriously??? Are you

Seriously??? Are you implying that a mother should have no life other than tending to her children??? How incredibly IGNORANT you are. What if she had been working and killed in an accident,,, would you still say the same thing? How cruel and callous you are to make such an outrageous claim. I hope that if you are a mother you are teaching your kids better than to be so unconcerned with other people's grief. What a sad individual you must be...

So what they have a criminal past, the police officer dosent..

and he told a flat out LIE! Were they ENGAGE in a criminal act at the time of this so called chase? Why did the officer make up this lie? If they were doing criminal acts as you suggested, the officer wouldnt have to go to extremes to make them look suspicious, but guess what, he forget that he was in Forest Hills where people can afford survelliance equipment and he got caught. The point is, the officer story is not the truth according to his events. Why arent you angry at that issue? That the city of police fabricated events around the deaths of three BLACK people. Oh yeah, because they are black. If these were white kids involved in an accident, you aholes would be all over this blog with your indignation. Black people, come together and call this department out for what it is!! We have hardened proof that the city of police arent telling truthful accounts!

I'ts racism!

This is obvious a racial attack on black people! All of you have forgotten the true villian here...the tree! The tree's a racist because it only killed the black people and nothing happened to the white officer! They should cut that racist tree down. Just because the tree held those black peolple accountable for thier actions (for the first time). And now the taxes payers won't have to support these entitilled ones, in jail or at home. Now that's racist too!

race card

Don't you EVER get tired and embarrassed at using the race card for excuses? You, black, white, purple, orange, green are all responsible for your actions. I'm so sick of the race card. SICK OF IT!!! Why can't you people take responsibility for what happens in your lives???

What does skin color have to

What does skin color have to do with anything. It is a 'Police Duty' to pull someone over at night, and get them to turn on their lights. I doubt the cop even saw, or cared about, the skin color of the driver.
The reason he raced into a tree, at 100 MPH, was because he was a criminal, and a idiot-thug. Who chose to do wrong. Each year thousands of people are killed by unlicensed, uninsured, motorists, who selfishly race away from the cops. And couldn't care less if they paralyse or kill another person.
Then again, if the cop would hve just ignored it, and he would have killede someone a mile up the road, by not having his lights on, you would find some way to blame the cop for that too. And race would certainly be an issue with you there too.
But I guess, to someone like you, all that matters is the skin color, and not the truth.

Take your race card and shove it

You know what; this story does have something to do with race. One moronic driver who was trying to RACE his car down Forest Hill Drive. He cost himself his life and the lives of two others. Thats the only RACE issue we have here!

Explain to me how in the hell WPD would have MADE him drive his car up a tree at 80mph? Maybe because he was running for some reason? Maybe because he wanted to drive like an idiot? What happens when you find out there was more to the story? Will you retract your comments?

I'm sorry for the loss of any life, but this is the fault of the driver. The other three in the vehicle, they were victims. Also, the criminal backgrounds don't matter, because his last criminal activity was his last. Now its all just history.

You my friend are an idiot.

You my friend are an idiot. It does not matter why the cops were behind them. The fact of the matter is that they were speeding and lost control and died. I can tell you though, that when the cops are behind me i do not run; therefore i do not crash. For you to throw race into this just proves what an idiot you are. If having a cop behind you is the precipice for speeding than there would be dead people everywhere.

I believe the WPD here

The WPD have said the SUV had it's lights off at the moment it passed a police cruiser -- that cruiser in turn began a chase -- after doing a 180. There was never any claim of wether the SUV had turned its lights on after it accelerated to 80+ MPH as it got away moments before the crash. Again, your attempts to bring race into this is silly being that the police could not have possible known the race of the driver of the SUV at night! Facts are facts.