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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The lives of two Columbus County families drastically changed Saturday night, but what could have been done differently to prevent the death of two children?

In the aftermath of Saturday’s horrible accident, investigators are left wondering if things would have been different if seat belts had been used.

Around 6:30 p.m. Saturday investigators say a SUV driven by Jesus Mondragon, 34, ran a stop sign at the intersection of NC 131 and Silver Spoon Road hitting the vehicle of 20-year-old Hannah Worley. Neither worley nor any of Mondragon’s four passengers were wearing a seat belt.

“Speed was not a factor. The vehicle didn’t stop, ran the stop sign at approximately 55 miles per hour and collided with the other vehicle that had the right of way on 131,” Highway Patrol Sgt. John M. Lewis said. “Out of the wreck there were two unrestrained children in the back of the vehicle that ran the stop sign, and they were ejected and died as the result of the collision.”

The two children killed were 11-year-old Samantha Mondragon and 2-year-old Ashley Mondragon. Investigators say their were lives were cut short by a series of bad decisions that highlight the importance of wearing a seat belt.

“Any time we have serious injuries or fatalities it’s very unfortunate, but to involve children is an absolute tragedy,” Sgt. Lewis said. “It’s the parent’s responsibility or their guardian or that person operating the vehicle to make sure that everyone is restrained. For children to be as innocent as they are, most just don’t know better. If they don’t practice it themselves, then these are the outcomes.”

Outcomes that affect all involved for the rest of their lives.

“It’s tough,” Sgt. Lewis said. “I know it’s tough on the families and all involved, but it’s also tough on our troopers. We see more than our share of tragedy, and it goes full circle the impact of these collisions.”

The investigation into the accident continues. Jesus Mondragon has not been charged for his role in the accident.

Comment on this Story

  • leilani

    And i know many people who do. They think it wont happen too them but tgink about it You never know what couldve been going during the accident.. who knows Maybe Samantha unbuckled herself too help her little sister ashley. Yeah sure it couldve been provented if they wore there seat belts but maybe it was just there time too go.. Something worse couldve happened.

  • guest2014@

    Really??? He should feel bad! Who rides around in a car with their children unrestrained!?!?!?!

  • Leilani

    Some people just need to stop being so harsh like please stop writing all these harsh comments you make Jesus feel bad and I know because he lives near me okay PLEASE STOP BEING MEAN AND HARSH

  • Leilani

    Ruth I know what you mean I think about her every day. I feel sad that she is not in sixth grade with us :(

  • leilani

    it was so heart breaking for me I have known her since kindergarten see her like that is very hard but I have nightmares about the crash every day and I cry every night wishing she was here with me but she is in a better place happy looking down at me

  • Charles Walters

    It seems as if a couple of people who post on this site think I am to harsh when I say Jesus should not be shown any mercy for causing the deaths of two innocent children, and injuring another driver when he blew through a stop sign at 55mph. As you all know from the article neither of the girls was wearing a seatbelt. Many others agree it was totally his fault these children are dead, and another driver was seriously injured. As always there are some who will defend a person no matter what they did. A perfect example, other than this, are the fools who murdered the man delivering chinese food. This murder was planned, they placed the order then killed him for $45.00 worth of food. Yet there are people who are pissed because many say they should be put to death. It boggles my mind how many people think criminals should be given every advantage when their victims got no consideration for what was being done to them. The idiots who are critical of me for being harsh on people like this are just that IDIOTS!!!!!!! I’m sure others will agree with me about this.

  • ruth

    samantha was my best friend for us we felt horrable when we found out about there death me and my friend went to her funeral so them in a white beautiful dress but know there in a better place wich is nameed (Heaven) her funeral was at peacock cemetary there in a better place we feel so bad for there parents R.I.P Samantha and ashely<3

  • SusanK6461

    I’ve observed that many in this area, including school personnel, don’t recognize the laws as they pertain to children being restrained and, of course, there are those who choose to ignore it even if they are aware. For starters, children are not supposed to be in the front seat until they are 12 years of age, and they are supposed to be restrained in the back seats. I’ve seen many, many instances of the front seat law being violated as well as the seatbelt law. I even watched a woman in a Suburban pull out of Wal-Mart with her toddler (couldn’t have been 2, w/ pacifier in mouth) standing up in the front seat, with the window down at that. The child appeared to be barely old enough to walk. It would not take much of a sudden movement to see her tragically injured or killed. If you want to ignore the law for your own safety that’s one thing, but if you ignore it when it comes to your children, it just goes to show that no matter what you say, you would NOT do anything in the world to protect your children. And by the way, in case you didn’t know this, people DO notice.

  • LLS

    yes justice does need to be given to these two children who lost their lives in this horrible accident. i know that their father will wake up every morning knowing that what he did is the reason they are no longer here with him. there is no prison term or probation that will ever compare to the pain that he will feel in his heart. I pray that all of us who are being judgemental will take all that effort and put it in praying for him, his family and all who were involved in the accident. May God Bless You All!!!

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