by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:
LENOIR, N.C. - A mother, daughter and grandchild died Wednesday in a car crash on Highway 64 in Gamewell.
Gary Moore told Eyewitness News he was close friends with the victims.
He spoke to Channel 9 on behalf of the family Thursday.
“Shocking, we’re all in a little bit of shock. Just how it could happen,” he said.
Moore said he heard about the crash and rushed to the scene Wednesday to see if 29-year-old Sabrina Handy, her 4-year-old son Carson and her grandmother Caroline were OK.
Officers said Caroline had been at Caldwell Memorial with pneumonia and Sabrina had just picked her up. Carson was also in the car and they were headed toward Morganton.
Officers said Thursday they believed something horrible happened and forced Sabrina to turn around.
“That’s the only explanation we have for her very high speed and erratic driving,” said Sgt. Dereck Dawson with the Highway Patrol. “She felt she was in emergency response and wanted take her grandmother back to the hospital.”
He said Sabrina hit 90 mph on Highway 64.
They believe she ran into rush hour traffic and couldn’t slow down in time.
She veered into oncoming traffic hitting another driver head on.
Officers said 4-year-old Carson wasn’t strapped into his car seat correctly and was thrown from the car.
The drivers of the other vehicle were rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Officers said Thursday they were expected to be released soon.
Moore said Sabrina’s mother was heartbroken over the loss.
She said, I've lost my whole family at one time and it was absolutely heartbreaking."
Dawson said the 4-year-old may have survived if he’d been strapped into his car seat properly.
“Even the most caring parent that thinks they’ve done everything they can to make sure their child is safe may still have gotten it wrong,” he said.
He encouraged parents to attend a childseat diversion program where professionals can help them install car seats properly. He said the program called Safe Kids in Caldwell County meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 2351 Morganton Blvd. in Lenoir. The number is 828-758-2324. You can bring you child and your child’s car seat to that location and they can show you how to properly install it. To find out more information you can visit www.buckleupnc.org.
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