CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — The 911 calls made before a deadly crash into a Shelby home capture the terrifying moments leading up to it.
Three people were killed when a truck crashed into the house early Sunday morning. A fourth person is still in the hospital.
Investigators said the people in that truck were allegedly shooting at and chasing a car before the crash.
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The sheriff’s office said the people in that truck were leaving a party in Gaffney, South Carolina. Deputies said their truck got behind the 911 caller, who was headed home from the same area. That was when a shot hit her car.
Brenda Wray told Lemon she heard a yell as they passed a parked truck on Blacksburg Road near the state line. Her three daughters and a friend, all ages 10 to 18, were in the car. They were returning home from a meal.
“After the yelling, the gunshots started going off,” she said.
Channel 9′s Ken Lemon learned Wray’s 18-year-old daughter was driving. Her daughter, who had just gotten her learner’s permit two days prior, had to drive more than 80 miles per hour to avoid the gunfire.
“I was thinking ‘oh my gosh, we’re all going to die,’” Wray said.
She said they drove right by the turn to their home because they were afraid to slow down.
‘They’re shooting again’
Lemon obtained recordings of the 911 calls. The mom can be heard frantically talking to the 911 operator.
Dispatcher: “Take a deep breath for me.”
Wray said that truck followed her car for at least 15 miles, firing at least 50 shots.
“It’s like they would just unload and take a second and reload and catch back up with us, start again,” she said. “It was just over and over and over.”
At points during the recording, you can hear children crying in the background as the mother calls for help.
Caller: “They’re shooting again.”
Dispatcher: “They are shooting again?”
Caller: “Yes. Please hurry. Just hurry. Stay down please,” she said, crying.
Dispatcher: “Is everybody in the car still OK?”
‘We were innocent people’
They were so afraid that they didn’t realize sheriff’s deputies and police got behind that truck. The truck eventually went into Shelby, hit an embankment and flipped, crashing on top of a home on Dekalb Street.
Two 20-year-olds, Fabian Cosby and Keandre Kirkland, along with Elijah Priester, 18, were killed. A 19-year-old remains in the ICU.
At that point, Wray was miles away. She and her daughter didn’t want to stop and wait for deputies until dispatchers told them it was OK.
Caller: “They’re not near us, are they?”
Dispatcher: “No ma’am, the driver of that truck is nowhere near you, OK?”
Wray feels sorry for the victims of the crash and believes they thought they were chasing a different car.
“We were innocent people and it never should have happened,” she said. “Never should have happened.”
She said it’s awful that it happened on Mother’s Day. The victims’ mothers are grieving, and Wray can’t help but be thankful that her daughters are alive.
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