According to the State Highway Patrol, 40-year-old Amanda Lynn Davis was driving north on SR-1415 when she went left of center off the road, to the left, and then struck a brick column and a tree.
The SUV then caught on fire.
The children in the car were identified as Ayden Ramirez, 5, of Durham, and Ronnie Ramirez Jr., 7, of Durham.
Davis was transported to Duke Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. She has been charged with DWI and careless and reckless driving. State Highway Patrol officials said speed and impairment are believed to be contributing factors.
Ronnie Ramirez Sr., the father of the children, was in Houston when he learned Ayden and RJ died in a crash with their mother behind the wheel.
"Oh god, my babies, my babies. I love my babies," Ramirez told ABC11 exclusively.
Ramirez said Davis suffers from bipolar disorder and often drove while under the influence of her medication, something he says he discouraged her from doing.
"I told her even then,' hey you shouldn't have been driving,' and then she go back out and wreck. That's not the only car she's wrecked. She's wrecked a lot of my vehicles."
Ayden and RJ were in the back seat when the SUV caught on fire. RJ, who had autism, had just celebrated his 7th birthday three weeks ago.
"He was the best son in the world, man," Ramirez said. "He was so polite and so gentle. My Ayden, God almighty, she was would turn your head just with a smile. She was shy."
As for Davis, despite her troubled past, Ramirez said he feels it was just a terrible accident.
"I know she did not mean for this to happen," he said. "I know she didn't. God almighty, why? Why?"
The sheriff's office told ABC11 Davis was cited for reckless and careless driving in the 6300 block of Guess Road on Saturday. No alcohol was found on Davis' breath but she had to leave her car off Guess Road so a friend could pick her up.
According to the sheriff's office, it is believed the vehicle left on Guess Road is the same vehicle Highway Patrol found Davis and her children in later that evening.
The State Highway Patrol said it will consult with the Durham County District Attorney's Office regarding additional charges against Davis.