Warrant: Drugs found in system of mom responsible for fatal crash

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Court documents said the mother involved in a crash that killed her child on River Road had drugs in her system during the time of the crash.

According to a search warrant, Melissa Ann Henderson, 29, could be charged with 2nd degree murder. The warrant also seeks to obtain blood tests and past medical records from her.

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Investigators said, based on witness testimony, Henderson was driving recklessly on River Road just moments before crashing into a tree that caused her GMC Yukon to go up in flames.

911 calls were released Wednesday describing Henderson’s car in the moments before the crash.

“It is all over the road, they had their hazards on, they were swerving into oncoming traffic, and then they would swerve onto the median,” said the 911 caller. “I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m trying to stay back from them.”

The deputies said Henderson and her daughter were pulled from the burning vehicle by a bystander, but an infant was still trapped inside the vehicle when they arrived. By the time fire crews arrived and put out the fire, the infant, James Andrews III, was already dead.

Henderson and her daughter were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment and Henderson was later transferred to the UNC Burn Center. Court documents state Henderson had “multiple prescription and illegal narcotics” in her system.

Documents also said she didn’t have an active driver’s license.

The warrant also said James Andrews, Henderson’s boyfriend and father of the two children involved, told investigators he’d last seen Henderson early that morning before he left for work. He also told investigators and there was an active DSS investigation into the family regarding concerns of drug tests.

The District Attorney’s Office is still investigating the crash and has not decided whether they will press charges.