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UPDATED: Family of five found dead in submerged vehicle - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

UPDATED: Family of five found dead in submerged vehicle

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By Smitha Rao

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. - A family is grieving tonight after five of their loved ones are killed in a terrible car accident.

It happened along Catfish Lake Road, a dirt road that passes through the Croatan National Forrest.
We did some digging and found out that several lives have been lost on this road.

In fact, the Marine Corps banned Marines from using it as a cut-through last year.

It's hard for Joanne Hernandez to talk about it.

Her daughter, her future son-in-law, and her three young grand kids are all gone, in the blink-of-an-eye.
 
Hernandez says "My daughter was a beautiful, young, beautiful mother. Had three beautiful children, had her whole life ahead of her".

But Sunday night as Maria Gonzalez was traveling down this road, state troopers say her SUV flipped over and went into the water.

23-year old Maria, 26-year old Abdiel Salis, 6-year old Alexander, 1 1/2 year old Adyelis and 4-month old Abdiel Jr. all died at the scene. 
 
Hernandez says "How many more lives is this road going to take before the state, the county, whoever takes care of it?"

While State Troopers tell us speed was a factor, Hernandez says the road is just plain dangerous. 
 
Hernandez says "If you don't go a certain speed, that gravel makes you swerve, it's a bad road. It's dangerous".

Sgt Rich Willis says "The past four years, yes, there's been at least seven that I am aware of, that have been killed in this general area".

And while Hernandez is going through an unthinkable tragedy, she says she wants to do something so this doesn't happen to anyone else.

Hernandez says "I'm going to do everything I can to get that road shut down".

State troopers tell us many people use this road as a shortcut because it connects Highway 58 to U.S. 70.

Donations to help the family with funeral costs can be brought/sent to:

Cherry Point Baptist Church 210 Church Rd, Havelock, NC 28532/ P O Box 555 Havelock, NC 28532

Checks should be made payable to:CPBC with “Gonzalez funeral expenses" in the NOTE line

There is a drop box in the office door of the Cherry Point Baptist Church, and the office is open 9-5 today and tomorrow, Thursday April 21 and Friday April 22.

 

If hours are not convenient, please call 447-5460 or 447-2890  to make arrangements.

 

---PREVIOUS STORY---

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C.- We now know the names of the five people killed in a car accident Sunday.

Trooper R.A. Woods tells us the victims are 23-year old Maria, 26-year old Abdiel Salis, 6-year old Alexander, 1 1/2 year old Adyelis and 4-month old Abdiel Jr. all died at the scene.

Captain Joe Heckman with the Craven County Sheriff's office says they found the car flipped over in the water off Catfish Lake Road.

Investigators say the children were still in their car seats when the car was found. Troopers say two of the children were infants. They say there was a female driver and a male adult passenger. Investigators also said that the water and mud made the recovery of the victims difficult.

---PREVIOUS STORY---

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. – A Sunday night car accident killed two adults and three children when an SUV ran off the road and ended up in a canal.

Captain Joe Heckman with the Craven County Sheriff's office says they found the car flipped over in the water off Catfish Lake Road.

Investigators say the children were still in their car seats when the car was found. Troopers say two of the children were infants. They say there was a female driver and a male adult passenger. Investigators also said that the water and mud made the recovery of the victims difficult.

Highway Patrol confirms this accident was not related to Saturday's storm. It says speeding was a factor. The names of the victims have not been released. The Sheriff’s Office did say that the car was registered to a person Havelock resident.

---Previous Story---

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. - 3 children and 2 adults were found dead in a submerged vehicle.

Captain Joe Heckman with the Craven County Sheriff's office says they found the car flipped over in the water off Catfish Lake Road Sunday evening.

Investigators say the children were still in their car seats when the car was found. Troopers say two of the children were infants. They say there was a female driver, and a male adult passenger.

Highway Patrol confirms this accident was not related to Saturday's storm. It says speeding was a factor.

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