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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police have identified the victim of last night’s crash on MLK Parkway as Sean Hugh O’Donnell, 27, of Fuquay-Varina. O’Donnell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say O’Donnell lost control of his 1997 GMC Jimmy, which then rolled and flipped multiple times throwing him from the vehicle. Police say O’Donnell was not wearing a seat belt. WPD Traffic Unit investigators say speed contributed to the crash. Toxicology results are pending.

This is the tenth fatality on Wilmington streets this year.

Multiple people stopped immediately to help, and two women administered CPR until first responders arrived on scene.

Wilmington Police closed the eastbound lanes of MLK from N. College Road to N. Kerr Avenue for several hours Sunday night as crews worked to investigate and clean up the accident.

Comment on this Story

  • Susan Busch

    To Sean’s family: my son, Chet, just called me and told me about Sean’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. Sean was his roommate during their first two years at ALS. I remember meeting him several times when I visited Grundy. I cannot express my heartfelt grief for you all. My prayers are with you.

  • Guest56374

    As a family friend, I can assure you that they are all getting the support that they need. I attended the wake tonight and we were asked to sit while waiting to get through the line because there were so many people. My brother had an accident in WIlmington two years ago and he too was not wearing a seatbelt. Tonight, Sean’s father told my parents to make sure we kids always wear our seat belts. My brother is also 27 and I can only imagine what his sisters are going through. RIP Sean.

  • Guest111

    Judging from the picture of his vehicle it looks like one of the tires may have blown out. Maybe that is what caused the accident. Only my opinion.

  • Guest111

    Sean Hugh O’Donnell
    Posted by Williford Funeral Home · Comments (0)

    Sean Hugh O’Donnell, 27, of Wilmington, NC passed away June 17, 2012. A visitation will be held at Williford Funeral Home June 20, 2012 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm, with a Rosary prior at 6:30 pm. A funeral mass will be held at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Fuquay-Varina, NC June 21, 2012 at 11:00 am.

  • Dave

    Thank you for the information you sent.

  • Toni

    Just before giving a statement to the accident officer, a blue shooting star flew over the accident site. I would like to think it was Sean telling everyone he is OK. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Our family is still feeling pretty bad about what we all saw and prayed for him.

  • Lindsay Ham

    Sean was one of my dearest friends and I am heartbroken. He had such a promising future and I will never understand why his life had to end this way, so soon. I am thankful I had the privilege of having him in my life for 19 years.

  • Josie

    Sean was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known. He was one of the brightest and most motivated too. The world lost a smart, kind, dedicated soul. He had so much life in him, so much potential and so much to offer his community. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him, and I feel for those who never had a chance to know this great guy.

  • KLD

    My children grew up with Sean in Fuquay, and we have so many treasured memories of him. He was a sweet, precious boy, and will be missed terribly. He was a joy to his family, and was always kind and pleasant. My thoughts and prayers are with his parents and his two sisters.

  • Cheryl Lockhart

    We are all very saddened to hear of the death of my nephew. My sister, her family and extended family and friends are in shock. Sean graduated from college and went on to Law School and had just gotten a job. We were all so proud of him and this is just such a loss. His two sisters (one older and one younger) and just beside themselves. They were so close and spoke to each other daily and he actually lived with his younger sister. I just can’t believe he is gone. His own father was delivered the news of his son’s death on his own birthday. If anyone reads this hug your children today and tell them that you love them. Remind them to always wear their seat belts. We will never know if this could have saved Sean but my 16 year old son who just got a vehicle this week is seeing with his cousin what can happen. Instead of a visit for a family holiday I am going from VA to NC to my sister’s for a funeral for her only son. We love you Sean and we all grieving for the loss of your life.

  • Guest2020

    My prayers to the family of the young man.

  • Amy Lawrence-Lovely

    Sean was one of the happiest, kindest, most fun loving person I’ve had the privilege of knowing and loving. He had more personality and promise in his pinky then most people have in a lifetime. He was always quick to compliment, acknowledge other’s accomplishments, encourage anyone down on their luck and his giving heart could never be matched. He was a young man that “packed in” everything he could in his 27 years on earth, following his heart wherever it lead.

    I and all of his friends and family are heartbroken because the world was better because he was in it.

  • Guest1984

    I had the pleasure of knowing Sean throughout middle and high school. My heart is heavy at his passing. The world has lost a great man and friend.

  • Guest28403

    My heart goes out to this family. It is so terribly sad. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Tom

    It is unfortunate for the gent who lost his life. Is he to blame? Is someone else to blame? Although lives are lost to drinking or speed, Lets start to look at talking on a cell phone or worse, texting while driving. Texters are worse, they don’t have their eyes on the road. I am cut off and encroached upon daily and I see these people on phones or texting. The worse is a texter coming up behind you. You can’t even signal them to be careful of you.

  • Mitchy

    FYI the NC Bar has this address for Sean:

    ID 41487
    Name Mr. Sean Hugh O’Donnell
    Address 6724 Spearow Lane
    City Wilmington
    State NC
    ZIP Code 28411
    Country USA
    License Date 08/27/2010
    Status Active
    Status Definition The lawyer is presently eligible to practice law in North Carolina.
    No public discipline.

  • Jenn Cary

    Sean’s family has been close to mine for several years. He will be missed more than words can express. I absolutely can’t imagine the pain his parents and sisters are dealing with right now. Please be kind with your comments, everyone. There is a time and place for your opinions, but right now, anything other than commenting on the loss of this kind, generous man is really inappropriate.

  • Athanasia Lewis

    This person was a dear friend of mine, he was a young, educated, loving man who would do anything for anyone. Sean loved life, and his death is a terrible loss not only for those who had the pleasure of knowing him but for the world in general. I know he would want us to celebrate his life by remembering all he was and striving in our own lives to attain what came to him so easily, Godspeed Sean

  • Nasia

    This person was a dear friend of mine, he was a young, educated, loving man who would do anything for anyone. Sean loved life, and his death is a terrible loss not only for those who had the pleasure of knowing him but for the world in general. I know he would us to celebrate his life by remembering all he was and striving in our own lives to attain what came to him so easily, I miss you already…

  • Lynne

    Sean was such a wonderful person in every way. His family has been a neighbor of mine for many years. When my boys were younger, I trusted him to babysit for them when he was in high school. He never met a stranger and I was so proud that he earned his law degree. He loved people, life, and his family and he will be missed by many.

  • Guest314

    My deepest condolences go to Sean’s family and his friends. I was lucky enough to be a friend of Sean’s, and as anyone who was lucky enough to know Sean, you know how full of life and love he was. He was bright, passionate, giving, and just a great person. Most people, nice things are only said about them once they are gone, but not Sean. It was hard to really say anything bad about him. He loved working to make the lives of others better. I’m so sad that this precious life was taken so soon. Sean, you will be missed, always loved, and don’t for a minute think that you’ll be forgotten.

    P.S. Why the hell weren’t you wearing your damn seatbeat?!

  • Guest111

    I was told this young man was about to start working with a law firm in Wilmington. He also had been to a family reunion for Father’s Day this day. This is just so sad. Sometimes you have to wonder what God is thinking to hurt and take someone like this. I know you shouldn’t question God but what could his motive be?

  • Dave

    The faculty at UNCW remember and will miss Sean. If you have details about funeral arrangements, please email them to me so I can share them with Sean’s former professors. glewd@uncw.edu

  • Guest111

    Tom Please slither away into a hole somewhere. This isn’t the time or place for your rant. Have some compassion. This isn’t about you.

  • Guest in The House

    This is not a political issue.

    A family has just lost a loved one.

    Please show some respect and go somewhere else to rant about the government.

    If you are this cold and heartless whenever it comes down to showing compassion and respect for someone who had just lost their son in a tragic accident, I seriously recommend that you get on your knees and ask God to help you. If you don’t believe in God, check yourself into your local mental facility asap.

  • Guestsnicker

    Seems like the wacky paranoid conspiracy theorists are in full force today. Wrong venue my fellow American. Condolences to the family of the deceased. I wish you peace.

  • Guest12

    What does this story have to do with liberals or guns?

  • Guest28

    Get a life.

  • Guest33

    Just this past week within my surrounding area, four people have died in car wrecks. Why haven’t I heard the Liberals calling for a BAN ON AUTOMOBILES? Where are all the mothers, Doctors and Victims of car crashes yelling obscenities about, How Bad Cars Are for our Health? Or How irresponsible people handle cars, and because of that, we should ALL not have cars?! Where is the Socialized Government on this??? Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But, the government wants their taxes; people want their independence and freedom, so everyone is acceptable to a million or so deaths per year from automobile deaths and injuries. Which is an acceptable collateral damage – to the government and the people. Then, why isn’t any death, any collateral damage acceptable, when it comes to guns? Especially when the stakes are higher. It’s to protect your home and your physical body. To protect the members of your household. And, to tell your government – enough is enough. I guess you’d rather wait for a civil war to break out and lose it all. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

  • Toni Incorvaia

    Having been a witness to this tragedy last night, I find your post offensive and inappropriate. Servants of God pray for the souls lost and their loved ones, not use this tragedy as a soap box for your idiotic comments.

  • Joe T.

    Guest 33: you are not making any sense or helping those that have suffered the loss of a loved one or a friend to an automobile accident.

    It is how fast the vehicle is driven, a driver’s alertness and weather conditions that play a key roles in any accident.

    If anything regarding driving and cars deserved a rant and rave, it is those that refuse to use hands free devices for mobile calls and not text messaging or reading text messeges and emails while driving.

    So if you need to rant and rave, start with inappropriate mobile phone use while in command of a motor vehicle.

  • Guest4133

    A life has been lost. A son, grandson, friend, cousin, nephew, and brother all have been lost.

    Save your thoughtless political nonsense for another time. Show some respect for this young man who passed way too soon.

  • Guest111

    I know you have this section for people to speak freely but can’t you use some common sense judgement and delete three of these most inappropriate comments? There are some sick people in this world and at times they slither to a computer and post on here. Have a heart for the family.

  • Really??

    This person is writing the same comment on all auto accidents?? You really need to get a life, a job, or a head exam. These poor people have lost a part of their family and you have the gall to respond with a political debate?? Unreal….maybe you should come to church with me Sunday and ask God for forgiveness

  • Guest17

    I met Sean a few weeks ago at the beach with his sister. He was a really nice guy and, if his sister represented any sign of how things were at home, his family obviously loved him. Im glad to have had the opportunity to have met him. His death is unfortunate and I send my condolences to his family in their time of need.
    That being said, what is wrong with you? Do you think his family wants to read about your political agenda? Right now, they need support and kind words, not your rants. I hope that, god forbid something should happen to someone you love, some total douche in desperate need of attention doesnt come on spouting off about Conservative agenda or something equally unrelated and rude. Have a little respect. I suggest that next time you feel like being completely inappropriate, you spend all the time you wouldve used ranting to repeatedly punch yourself in the genitals.

  • JB1010

    Sean was my one of my best friends. Have a heart and delete this post. This is not the appropriate forum for your political agenda.

  • Manreinvented

    Shame on you… very inappropriate.

  • Guest7969

    Welcome to this century…its called NEWS…they left his name out as they ALWAYS do when next of kin haven’t been notified…SHhhheeesh!

  • JL

    I don’t think details of age, sex or pictures of the vehicle should be released if the family have not been notified.

  • Guestrrrrre

    Why does there have to be so many rude ignorant jerks like you that have to criticize and nit pick what people are commenting on in a public comment section. Let people voice their thoughts without criticism. Your statement was retoracle and ignorant at best. Go home

  • Guest7969

    can you please read what you wrote? I believe I fall into your stated requirements…OH…thanks for the criticism :-)

  • ERGorum2

    My sister is a registered nurse and she was one of the women who stopped to help the other woman was a nurse also. My sister and her husband were here in Wilmington for their 20 wedding anniversary. She said that she seen the headlights of the truck coming toward them right before the truck started to roll.

  • JA

    I was the other woman Doing CPR there were actually 3 of us…. My heart felt prayers go out to his family…. And thank you to the other ladies that helped!!!!

  • Guest14

    Please tell your sister thank you for the courage and compassion she showed. Sean was a friend and a good, kind hearted, funny, loving person….his death is a huge loss for this world. It touches my heart to know that people like your sister stopped to try and help him.

  • Charlotte

    Thank you for your comment, and your respect for the family.

  • Guest111

    My sincere sympathy to the family of this young man.

  • Sean was a much-loved graduate of the Appalachian School of Law. He was bright, funny, generous, and joyful. He had recently landed a new job, and his life was filled with hope and possibility. This is such sad news for us.

  • Nasia Lewis

    Sean was a dear friend of mine, he was a young, educated, loving man who would do anything for anyone. Sean loved life, and his death is a terrible loss not only for those who had the pleasure of knowing him but for the world in general. I know he would want us to celebrate his life by remembering all he was and striving in our own lives to attain what came to him so easily, Godspeed Sean

  • stankluv44@gmail.com

    Buckle up.
    You don’t have to go to law school to know that is the law!

  • Joey Napierkowski

    Sean was such a great guy….. so close to his family and had many friends. My heart hurts today.

  • Guest 000

    My heart goes out to you and the family of this young man. I lost my nephew in the same type of accident last year (no seat belt) and he was only 20 years old. Words can not express the extreme heart-breaking pain the family will endure. My thoughts and prayers are being sent up.

  • Toni

    Having been a witness to this tragedy last night, I find your post offensive and inappropriate. Servants of God pray for the souls lost and their loved ones, not use this tragedy as a soap box for your idiotic comments.

  • Guest111

    It also applies to “Tom” and his comments.

  • Lindsay Ham

    Sean has been one of my dearest friends since the 4th grade. I am at a loss for words over the heartbreak that I am feeling right now. I thank God that I was able to see him a few weeks ago to tell him how proud I was of him. He finally landed his first “real” job as an Attorney and he was so excited to see where this new venture would lead him. His life was full of promise and I will never understand why he was taken so soon. I am beyond devastated.

  • becky miller

    Sean was a wonderful young man who will be greatly missed by so many! Prayers for his family!

  • Francis Ford Niggershit

    For the sake of yourself and those around you, please go drink some paint.


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