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.
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.