NC mother indicted after her toddler killed in crash

Melissa Henderson of Wilmington, who has been indicted (Facebook)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A New Hanover County Grand Jury indicted Melissa Henderson, the mother of a 13-month-old boy who was killed when their car crashed on River Road, on several charges Monday.


She was indicted on charges including felony death by motor vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, felony serious injury by vehicle, speeding, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, felony child abuse inflicting serious injury and felony child abuse inflicting serious physical injury.

UPDATE: NC mom charged in fiery crash that killed infant son gets arrested again

Henderson will appear in court for the first time Tuesday at 11 a.m. The crash happened April 24.

Another search warrant filed in connection to Melissa Henderson reveals prescription drugs were found in the vehicle.

According to the court document, investigators searched Henderson’s white 2004 GMC Yukon XL, the vehicle that was involved in the fatal wreck on April 24, and found:

  • A metal case containing a torn clear plastic bag containing seven green, rectangle-shaped tablets with the marking “S 90 3”
  • A plastic container with multiple “Gillette” razor blades
  • A melted plastic bottle with lid
  • A silver spoon head, an independent medicine information website created to share drug and related health information, identifies “S 90 3” as Alprazolam, which is used in the treatment of anxiety; panic disorder; depression; tinnitus; dysautonomia and belongs to the drug class benzodiazepines.


Investigators said Henderson was driving in the 9900 block of River Road with her son, 13-month-old James Andrews III, and daughter, two-year-old Jacquelyn Andrews, when she drove off of the road and hit a tree causing the car to catch fire.

James was pronounced dead at the scene. Henderson and her daughter were rushed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Henderson was then transferred to UNC Hospital at Chapel Hill for second and third degree burns and a fractured pelvis, according to Highway Patrol troopers.

Henderson has been released from the hospital, according to a spokesperson for UNC Health Care.

According to an initial search warrant filed in connection to the wreck, a urinalysis performed at NHRMC revealed Henderson had multiple prescription and illegal narcotics in her system the day of the accident.

Samples of Henderson’s blood as well as her medical records were obtained as part of the search warrant. Evidence obtained from these records could constitute a charge of second-degree murder, according to the court document.

As of May 3, no charges had been filed in the case, according to District Attorney Ben David. We have reached out to see whether charges have been filed following her release from the hospital, but have not heard back yet.

Several concerned citizens called 911 prior to the crash to report the SUV was “all over the road,” and that it had driven completely off of the road at some points.

Henderson’s boyfriend, the father of the two children involved in the crash, told investigators the Department of Social Services had an active investigation into their family. He said the DSS had concerns over drug tests.

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