WJTV News Channel 12 - 5-month-old survives deadly Jacksonville accident

5-month-old survives deadly Jacksonville accident

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Saquan Nelson Saquan Nelson
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - A 5-month-old is alive following a deadly weekend car accident that killed his mother and three others. Troopers tell 9 On Your Side the car seat he was in is partly responsible for saving his life.
 
It happened just after 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville at the intersection of U.S. 258 and N.C. 53.  Highway Patrol troopers say a Hyundai sedan was speeding when it ran a red light and crashed into the passenger side of a Toyota SUV, killing the driver, 30-year-old Rachel Delisle. Her son, Gabriel, was in a car seat, secured in the back seat behind her.
 
The story starts in a way that’s so familiar to all. Rachel Delisle was on her way to the grocery store. When she was passing through the intersection, a normal everyday errand turned into a tragedy that’s already changing so many lives, especially her husband’s and the three children she leaves behind.
 
It’s the sound of a man whose wife was taken from him in an instant.
 
“I saw her there,” said Jason Delisle. I just couldn’t believe it.”
 
He had just gotten to Onslow Memorial Hospital Saturday night, where he found out his wife was killed in a car accident. But his youngest son Gabriel, 5-months-old, was fine, just a couple scratches on his cheek and some bruises on his leg.

Jason went to the wreckage to see with his own eyes, what his son escaped.
 
“And I saw the extent of the damage and I, honestly, it’s a miracle,” he said.
 
Troopers don’t doubt it was a miracle.
 
“The damage being so severe, didn’t even bust the glass though beside the baby,” said Sgt. Shannon Whaley, Highway Patrol. And Whaley says the child being properly secured in his car seat played a big role in saving his life. “The parents had obviously done a really good job trying to keep the child safe.”
 
Two parents who worked as a team to grow a loving family. Delisle says Rachel was the kind of person who always put others before herself.
 
“I wouldn’t be an aviator,” he said. “I wouldn’t have gotten my wings if it wasn’t for her. She was always there for them. And she was always there for me. So now it’s hard for me to imagine how I’m going to get by without her.”
 
With his heart so full of pain for his family, there is no room for anger or hate.
 
“The only thing I feel is sympathy for their families,” he said. “I know what they’re going through right now and I pray that God takes care of them.”
 
Delisle says he’s just going to focus on his family, Michael, J.J. and little Gabriel, and says like he’s always done, he’ll never give up an opportunity to tell them how much he loves them.
 
“Everytime I had a chance to tell her I loved her, Ii did,” he said. “Because you just never know what’s gonna happen.”
 
Jason and Rachel just moved to Jacksonville from Pensacola, Florida in November. They celebrated their 5-year anniversary earlier that month.

9 On Your Side has been digging into the records of the man behind the wheel of the sedan. 24-year-old Saquan Nelson was killed in the crash, along with his two passengers.

He was supposed to be in court Monday on previous charges pending from 2012 and 2013, including DWI.

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Troopers say the man responsible for a fatal weekend crash was already facing DWI, speeding and reckless driving charges.

That wreck happened at the intersection of  U.S. Highway 258 and Highway 53 in Onslow County Saturday evening.

Investigators say 24-year-old Saquan Nelson was driving a Hyundai close to 100 miles per hour when he ran a red light and slammed into an SUV.

The driver of the SUV and all three people in the Hyundai, including Nelson, died. A baby riding in a car seat in the SUV was the only survivor.

Court records show Nelson was supposed to be in court today on previous charges pending from 2012 and 2013. Those include driving while impaired, speeding, eluding arrest and reckless driving to endanger. Nelson was also charged as recently as last month for speeding.

Derek Smith is the tow truck driver that was called to the scene of the fatal accident in Jacksonville Saturday evening. Even though he's been responding to traffic accidents for years, he said this one really struck home because a child was involved.

"It was really tough to think about it that whole time," Smith said. "And whenever I got home I hugged my kids and put them into bed."

Makayla Parrish witnessed the accident firsthand.

"There wasn't even like a second for anyone to react," Parrish said. "That's how fast they must have been going. And the car just split in half and we just saw the car roll. And then bodies laying and then people getting out of their cars."

Trooper Jonathan Cody said that speed and reckless driving were to blame in this car accident. He said they didn't expect alcohol to have played a role.

According to the Trooper, everyone was wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident except for a passenger in the speeding Hyundai Sonata. The three people in the Sonata were pronounced dead at the scene. Rachel Delisle, the driver of the Toyota, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Trooper Cody urges the public to learn from this tragic accident.

"You got to watch your speed. You know, you never know what's going to happen on these roads," he said.

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Four people are dead following an accident in Jacksonville Saturday evening.

Troopers say the accident happened just after 5 o'clock at the intersection of U.S. 258 and NC 53.

Troopers tell 9 On Your Side a Hyundai sedan and large Toyota collided after the Hyundai ran a red light. The impact of the crash sent the Hyundai into a utility pole where it split in half. The Toyota overturned several times.

Drivers told Highway Patrol the Hyundai was traveling more than 100 mph and weaving in and out of traffic before it cross over the bypass in the wrong direction and ran a red light.

Inside the Hyundai was driver 24-year-old Saquan Nelson, Darius Williams, and 24-year-old Jonathan Cooper. All three passed away as a result of the accident. Troopers say all three were from the Maple Hill area.

The driver of the Toyota, 30-year-old Rachel Delisle from Jacksonville, also died in the accident. Delisle's infant was in the car at the time. Troopers say the infant is expected to survive, thanks to a car seat.

Troopers say reckless driving contributed to the accident, however, it is still under investigation.

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According to drivers the accident happened before 5 p.m.

An onlooker tells 9 On Your Side it appears that a car and SUV collided at the intersection of U.S. 258 and NC 53 in Jacksonville. The onlooker also tells us she saw first responders using the jaws of life to extract on of the people in the car.

No word yet what caused the accident or if anyone has been injured.

Jacksonville Police are assisting with the accident.

The accident is caused traffic delays on U.S. 258

Stay with 9 On Your Side for updates as they become available.
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