WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) — The child that died in a crash on River Road Sunday morning has been identified.
13-month-old James Andrews III died at the scene.
He was buckled into a child restraint behind the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.
The crash happened on River Road at Snow’s Cut Park around 9:30 a.m. Sunday. It appears a white Yukon XL approached a left hand curve, traveled off the road and slammed into a tree.
Melissa Henderson, the child’s mother and driver of the Yukon XL, was rushed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She was later taken to the UNC Hospital at Chapel Hill for burn injuries, according to Highway Patrol Troopers.
Her daughter, 2-year-old Jacquelyn Andrews, was also rushed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She was buckled into a child restraint in the right rear seat at the time of the crash.
River Road was closed in both directions for over eight hours while Highway Patrol Troopers investigated the deadly crash. Both lanes were reopened by 6 p.m.
Highway Patrol Troopers said several witnesses who saw the crash stopped to help. The vehicle was engulfed in flames moments after one Good Samaritan pulled Henderson out. He received 2nd and 3rd degree burns and was taken to Chapel Hill for treatment.
District Attorney Ben David said anytime there is a child fatality, it is protocol for both him and the Assistant Director of the Department of Social Services to respond to the scene.
He said they are treating this deadly crash as a criminal investigation.
“We are going to be working in a team like fashion between the investigators and prosecutors and members of department of social services to uncover the truth of this terrible incident and see what charges are appropriate,” said David.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen the crash or the white colored Yukon XL driving earlier that day on River Road from Sanders Road to Snow Cut Park to please call the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office or 911.
They are looking for anyone who may have witnessed bad driving, or anything that drew their attention to the vehicle, including speeding, failure to maintain lane control or running off the road.
“They shouldn’t assume that just because there’s other folks around that they don’t have something relevant to add and we would request that they come forward as well,” said David.
The extent of Henderson and her daughter’s injuries are unknown at this time.
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