Families mourn crash victims; second driver upgraded to serious
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Dozens of family members lined Harrison Road on Monday to mourn the loss of two Salisbury men.
Some carried signs, others teddy bears and flowers, as they slowly walked to the two small white crosses that stood beside the road.
David Molina, 23, and his friend, 18-year-old Jairo Mercado, were pronounced dead at the scene on Christmas Day when their 1998 Buick caught the gravel shoulder and lost control about 12:30 p.m.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers said the vehicle overcorrected, crossed into the left lane and struck 65-year-old Joyce Curl’s 2009 Nissan.
Curl was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and was initially listed in critical condition. As of Monday morning, she had been upgraded to serious condition.
Troopers said the Nissan hit Molina’s side — the passenger side — as they lost control of the car.
Authorities believe the Buick was traveling about 30 mph over the posted 45-mph limit on Harrison Road.
Nearly 75 members from both families stood along the roadside about 3 p.m. Monday.
Some comforting each other, others crying by themselves, the two families shared the tragic moment together.
Maria Molina said her brother told their mother, Rosario Molina, he would call when he got back to the 415 Chesapeake Drive home on Sunday.
Molina said her mother started to worry when they closed nearby Harrison Road and asked Molina to call her brother.
But no one responded.
“They both didn’t answer,” Molina said. “Their phones were both broken.”
Molina said Mercado had come to the house to get her brother that afternoon. They were going to Mercado’s girlfriend’s house.
“David didn’t have an ID with him,” Molina said. “So it took a long time to notify the family.”
Few left the memorial with dry faces on Monday.
The crowd’s silence was interrupted only by the sound of a friend or family member breaking down in tears.
After about 30 minutes, David’s father took a machete from his car and began hacking away at briars that covered the Harrison Road shoulder where his son died.
Broken glass, plastic and a Nissan emblem lay beside the memorials.
David Molina was a poet, family members said.
“He was in love with poetry,” his brother-in-law Omar Huertas.
David posted a lot of his poetry on Facebook and kept to himself, his sister said.
“He was a very private person,” Maria Molina said.
Monday afternoon, family members placed a green sign behind his cross that had one of his poems written on it.
It was covered with angels’ wings, a rest-in-peace message and was signed at the bottom with his nickname, “Earthangel Molina.”