Man charged in deaths of mother, 3 year old

Stacey Deans (Image courtesy Nash County Sheriff's Office)
March 13, 2013 12:52:59 PM PDT
A man is charged with two counts of felony death by motor vehicle in a Nash County crash that killed a mother and her 3-year-old son.

Lashunaqua "Cocoa" Cooper, 21, and her son Jiquel Copeland died instantly in the impact on South Church Street about a half mile from Cooley Road between Rocky Mount and Sharpsburg around 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Investigators said 26-year-old Stacey Deans was driving a pickup truck that crossed the center line and hit the woman's car head on. Troopers said they suspect he had been drinking. He was not given an alcohol breathalyzer test at the time of the accident because he was injured. Instead, blood work was taken and sent to a state lab to be tested.

Deans is in the military and had recently returned from deployment. His bond was set at $20,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News went to the crash site and found the victims' family member canvassing the area for something to hold onto. The child's grandmother was able to find a little red toy racecar, something that he loved.

"It's not like it eased me, but really it's hurt me more today because he was probably playing with this when he was riding," Lawanda Cooper said.

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