Man charged in Raleigh fatal I-540 accident

Lauren Ann Gervig (image courtesy Bright Funeral Home)
October 7, 2013 4:47:58 PM PDT
The North Carolina Highway Patrol has charged a Louisburg man with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in an accident Friday evening along Interstate 540.

Troopers said 55-year-old Paul Jago was merging on to I-540 from Six Forks Road when he allegedly hit two people trying to put gasoline in a vehicle on the side of the highway.

Lauren Ann Gervig, 25, of Wake Forest, was killed. Lenny Reyes was hurt.

All of Gervig's friends and family were shocked to get the tragic news that the young mother was hit and killed Friday night.

"Lauren was the first person I met when I started working here [at Creative Cuts]. She was really nice and she's the one that I got along with. We kind of hit it off right from the get-go," said former co-worker Heather Newcomb, who worked with Gervig at Creative Cuts.

According to a Bright Funeral Home obituary page, Gervig was a hair stylist at Creative Cuts in Wake Forest before health reasons forced her to resign. The owner said Gervig had to leave her styling job because she was battling epilepsy

But despite her health challenges, Gervig was still completely devoted to her 6-year-old daughter.

"It's tragic. I feel sorry for her little girl. Her little girl is six, I think, and she's got to grow up without a mom...I couldn't imaging not having, being there for my little girls," said Newcomb.

The Highway Patrol said Gervig had gotten a cab and a can of gas to come to the aid of a friend, Reyes. They said the gas door on Reyes' Dodge Charger was still open when Jago came down the on-ramp.

Jago's daughter said he was watching for merging traffic and never saw the car on the shoulder in the darkness at the end of the ramp. Investigators said Jago clipped the left rear of the Charger when Gervig was killed. Jago's daughter said it was tragic accident.

"Boy, would he give you the shirt off his back. He's a good man," said Jago's neighbor Peter Balbi who use to work with him at Target stores.

He said Jaco is a salt-of-the-Earth family man who coaches soccer and is always there to share kindness.

"He's never been neglectful in that area. You see it in his family. You see it in his kids. You see it in his stores. 'Paul?' 'Yeah, I'll be right there to help you.' And always going out of his way to help somebody. I'm shocked. I really am. I'm horrified actually," added Balbi.

Reyes who was also injured in the crash is said to now be in good condition at WakeMed.

The family asked that memorial contributions be made to the Epilepsy Foundation of NC, 1920 W First St, Suite 5541A, Winston-Salem, NC 27104(www.epilepsync.org). Funeral services were set for Wednesday.

Jago's court date is set for November 7 at 2 p.m.

The Highway Patrol said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

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