Crash kills pregnant woman, unborn child

November 21, 2011 7:19:37 AM PST
A pregnant woman and her unborn child died in a chain-reaction crash in Fayetteville Friday morning. The woman's older child was also hurt.

It happened at Raeford Rd. and Skibo Rd. just after 9 a.m.

Investigators said it appeared a Hyundai Elantra, driven by 39-year-old Regina Laffea, was headed west on Raeford when it ran the light at the Skibo Rd. intersection and collided with a 2009 Toyota, driven by a Courtney Gardiner, who was turning right.

Gary Eldridge told ABC11 the car came flying right at him - hitting his red pickup.

"We were standing there waiting for the light to change. Then all of a sudden, we just seen these two cars collide, and one went flying up, and the tire hit the front of the car," said Eldridge. "It happened so fast it was like a video game really."

Police said after striking the four vehicles, the Hyundai overturned and landed on its roof.

Eyewitnesses rushed to help Laffea, who was seven months pregnant, and her 9-year-old son.

"Heard skid marks [and] by the time we did that, the car was already flipping," said witness Fred Matthews.

Traffic was backed up on Raeford and Skibo roads in all directions. Motorists watched in horror as eyewitnesses tried to help Laffea.

"We got the little boy out, and there was another person I seen on the other side that was not too responsive and it look like she had a head injury. There was a lot of blood in the car. But we just couldn't get to them. The car was too bent up to get to them," said witness Olive Kyler.

Sources initially told ABC11 that Laffea died at the scene, but authorities later said in a news release that she is listed in critical condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

On Monday, they said she passed away Friday evening as a result of her injuries. Her son was also taken to the hospital in stable condition.

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