Man wants to know what caused single car accident in Spencer, police won’t say until after funerals
Derrick Williams describes the single vehicle accident that killed his 8-year-old niece Taliah Williams and five others Friday as overwhelming.
“I just don’t understand what happened,” he said Tuesday. “It’s hard to believe. It’s hard to grasp.
“When my mother called to tell me about it, I automatically just hit the floor.”
Williams said he wants to know what caused the black SUV to go out of control and crash into a tree while traveling on South Rowan Avenue in Spencer on Friday.
But investigators don’t plan to release that information until after the funerals, Spencer Police Chief Michael James said Tuesday.
The crash claimed the lives of driver Angela Dunlap, 28; Vincent Eugene McNeal, 45; Sean Javen Jacobs, 25; Da’Ja Cathcart, 10; Taliah Williams, 8; and Karizma Nichole Sexton, 4.
“We’re going to let everybody get through the funerals, to get through the grieving process,” James said. “By then, hopefully I’ll have the toxicology report as well as the accident reconstruction.
“Right now, it’s difficult to know till we see the toxicology reports and everything.”
James told a Post reporter he suspects the car, which caught on fire after striking the tree, was traveling faster than the posted 30 mph speed limit, but he won’t know for sure until the Salisbury Police Department completes the accident reconstruction.
Williams said his brother, Larry Williams, has been devastated by the loss of his daughter, Taliah, and has barely left his twin 6-year-old sons Davion and Javion Williams since they were hospitalized.
“My brother loves his children so much,” he said. “Our family is trying to be strong and keep holding him up right now.”
Williams said Taliah was conscious and breathing on her own when she first arrived at Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, but her condition went downhill from there.
“When they hooked her up to the machines, they saw her brain activity was fading,” he said. “Things just dramatically changed. ... They ended up having to put her on life support.”
Taliah’s brain activity never improved.
“She was brain dead, so we took her off life support,” he said.
Williams said Taliah was “just as sweet as she could be.”
“She loved her daddy so much,” he said. “She looked at him as a superhero.”
Williams said Javion also sustained a brain injury and remains unconscious, but his prognosis is good.
“He’s got brain activity, and he’s starting to move a little bit,” he said. “It’s taking a little more time, but he’s coming around slowly. He’s still holding on.”
Davion sustained a broken leg and hip during the accident, but Williams said he’s doing fine.
“He’s awake, drinking Sprite and watching television,” he said.
Williams said family members are taking turns staying at the hospital with Larry until the twins are released.
“We know my brother is not going to leave that hospital until those kids go home,” he said.
Reporter Nathan Hardin contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.