Police: Wreck killed 9-year-old boy

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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RICHMOND COUNTY, N.C. - Rockingham police are questioning the man they said might have killed a 9-year-old boy Saturday night.

Family members told Eyewitness News Jody Williams died after the car he was in was hit on Highway 74.

His grandmother, Emma Williams, was behind the wheel, and she was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries.

"There's no way to explain it. God took him for a reason, God has a plan for him," said Kay Clarke, Jody's other grandmother. "He used to tell his great grandmother he wanted to join the Army. But when he went to heaven, he went to join the Lord's Army."

Family members said Emma Williams had just left her apartment with her grandson and was pulling onto Highway 74 when they were T-boned by another car. They both were wearing seat belts, according to the family.

Based on witness accounts, police believe the car that caused the wreck was street racing with another car. That car kept driving off after they saw the crash.

"We've gotten information that two cars may have been racing, and we're running those leads down now," said Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly.

Emma Williams was airlifted to the hospital, as well as the husband and wife in the other car. Police said Jody Williams died at the scene.

Emma Williams suffered a broken shoulder and seven broken ribs, according to the family.

Family members said Jody Williams was a fourth-grader at West Rockingham Elementary.

"He'll be missed a lot because he was a joy to everybody's soul," Clarke said. "He was a very active child, he was a loving child."

Clarke said she's devastated that her grandson lost his life because of the recklessness of other drivers.

"They just think about the fun that they're having," she said. "They don't realize the consequences that are going to happen down the road."

Williams' car came to rest at the entrance to a cemetery on Highway 74. Police were at the crash scene for hours Sunday morning surveying the scene.

"A 9-year-old kid, to lose his life over someone racing on city streets, is just uncalled for," Chief Billy Kelly said.

Police are interviewing that male driver but haven't been able to get him to discuss why he was speeding.

Kelly isn't releasing the driver's name yet because he hasn't been charged with any crime, and the interviews are still ongoing.

The chief is asking any other witnesses to come forward.

The Williams family does not have health insurance, and funeral arrangements haven't been made yet.