12-year-old crash victim was 'kind-hearted kid'
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — John Marshall Murdock was “a kind-hearted kid” who loved spending time with his family and was learning to play guitar, his great-aunt said.
The 12-year-old died in a wreck Tuesday evening on Airport Road.
A memorial for the youngster is scheduled for Sunday.
For relatives, Angela Mickey said, the loss of her great-nephew has been “hard to comprehend.”
“It’s been devastating,” she said.
John was riding in a Honda Accord driven by his aunt, Brandy Nicole Naylor, about 3 p.m. Tuesday when she turned left into a parking lot in the 1000 block of Airport Road.
The Honda was struck on the passenger side — where John was sitting in the back seat — by an oncoming Jeep Cherokee.
Investigators have determined that John was not wearing a seat belt, Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins said in a press release Friday. State law mandates the use of seat belts for all vehicle occupants.
Investigators continue working to determine the speed of both vehicles and other specifics, Collins’ release said. Once the investigation is complete, the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office will determine whether to file charges, police said.
Mickey said Naylor, was driving to the home of her child’s father when the crash happened. Naylor’s 2-year-old was in a child-restraint seat in the back and was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center for evaluation but appeared to only have a bump on the head, investigators on the scene said.
Naylor was not injured.
Chandra Dawn Proctor, 28, was driving the Jeep Cherokee. Her passengers were a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. No one in the Jeep was taken to the hospital.
Mickey said the Murdocks are a tight-knit family and John’s death has been especially difficult.
“He was very close to his sister and his mom and dad,” she said. “They were really a close family.”
Mickey said John enjoyed video games and guitar.
“He spent time with his grandfather,” Mickey said. “He bought him a guitar and he just started playing. Took it upon himself.”
John Murdock finished the sixth grade at Southeast Middle School this spring.
His memorial will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Grateful Heart Ministries, 706 Dunns Mountain Road in Granite Quarry.
“He’s going to be truly missed,” Mickey said.
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