The NC Highway Patrol and the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office have made a joint decision not to file any criminal charges in a fiery crash on Interstate 40 near Benson the claimed the life of an 11 year-old boy.
On April 11th, Angela Jones, 32, of Raleigh was making an illegal u-turn in the median of I-40 and pulled into the path of an Hyundai Tucson. After the impact, Jones Nissan Murano traveled into the westbound lanes where it was struck by a Toyota Highlander and a Volvo tractor trailer. The Nissan burst into flames.
Jones was able to roll out of her burning car. Her 9 year-old son, Daniel, sustained minor burns. Her older son, Isaiah Jones, 11, died inside the vehicle. A medical examiner later determined Isaiah died instantly from injuries sustained in the crash and prior to the vehicle being consumed by the fire.
“The driver at fault for making an illegal U-turn was the mother of the deceased child,” District Attorney Susan Doyle told WTSB News on Tuesday. “While we review each scenario on a case-by-case basis, the District Attorney’s Office typically does not add on criminal charges for a parent who is responsible for the death of their child due to an accident on our highways.”
“Contrast this with a situation where a parent was drunk driving and kills their own child. In that scenario, the parent would absolutely be charged. When it is purely an accident, the parent is punished much worse by knowing she caused the death of her child as opposed to what charging a misdemeanor would do.”
The other drivers involved in the crash may still may pursue civil actions for coverage of medical expenses, pain and suffering, despite no criminal charges. Jones was fully insured.
Jones still remains hospitalized in critical condition with third degree burns over 80 percent of her body. Doyle said Mrs. Jones may never be in a physical condition to be served and come to court on a misdemeanor charge.
“In the grand scheme of things, sometimes common sense must control. Could she be charged with making an illegal U-turn and causing the death of her child? Absolutely. The real question is…what does charging her with a misdemeanor accomplish? I think a clear message has already been sent to all parents that by not waiting until the next exit to turn around, you could end the life of your child in a devastating way. Unfortunately, we all realized that as we watched the horrible video of the car burning instantly upon impact.”