Man forced ex-girlfriend's van off road causing wreck, police say

By: Kathryn Burcham


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Rockingham man faces more than a dozen charges after deputies said he forced his ex-girlfriend's minivan off the road, causing her to crash.
Deputies arrested Mark McDonald on May 11 after the accident sent his ex-girlfriend Jovita Cole and four passengers in her van to the hospital.
Cole told Channel 9 McDonald was angry after learning she was moving out of an apartment the they once shared. The couple have two children together.
"We had been in a relationship for about seven years off and on. Toward the end of the relationship it got violent, real violent," Cole said.
Cole filed a restraining order against McDonald on April 21 after she said he pointed a gun at her and threatened her.
A judge granted the order telling McDonald to stay at least 200 feet away from Cole, according to court documents.
But investigators said on May 11 as Cole was driving her van to her new apartment in Wadesboro, McDonald tracked her down on Old Charlotte Highway.
"He passed us on the highway and it went from there -- went up on the curb and I'm thinking he's going to stop, try to block me from leaving, but then he backed up and started hitting us head on," Cole said.
Cole told Eyewitness News she tried to reverse and escape but said McDonald followed her and continued to ram her van causing it to run off the road and flip before crashing in a yard.
"All I could do was scream and hold onto the steering wheel. I didn't know what to do," Cole said.
Two of Cole's passengers were airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center and others suffered broken bones and burns.
Deputies tracked down McDonald to Anson County where he was arrested later that day on charges including assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Cole said she has a message for other women who may be in abusive relationships.
"They can tell you I'm going change. I'm going to stop. They don't. It gets worse. It gets worse," Cole said. “We all could have lost our lives on Mother's Day."
McDonald will face a judge on May 29.

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