Emergency workers had to redirect traffic at /*Falls of Neuse*/ and /*Spring Forest*/ roads.
"I saw this nice lady with two or three children, and I thought how delightful a beautiful spring day and these kids were frolicking and pulling at her arms," eyewitness Sam Townsend said.
Another witness described what she saw.
"She got to where the red lights stopped and the two younger children darted out," witness Cheryl Barber said.
Townsend said he saw the impact. "I saw them hit, and I saw them fly through the air and roll on the ground and I was absolutely horrified."
That's when the busy north /*Raleigh*/ intersection turned into chaos. Cars piled up and onlookers watched as emergency crews tried to save the boys before they were rushed to the hospital.
Eyewitnesses say the children's mother stood by shocked, screaming.
"She didn't have a prayer," Barber said. "There was no way she could get them."
And there was no way to stop a silver SUV that had the green light, according to eyewitnesses.
Police questioned the driver before conducting a field sobriety test, which is a standard procedure.
It was just one part of what seemed like an ordinary spring day that turned out to be anything but ordinary.
"All we can do now is pray for them," Barber said. "It's very bad."
"I think we need to pray for the driver, who didn't have a chance," Townsend said.
There was a third child who was unharmed. Nine-year-old Kaled Shahin died in the accident. Seven-year-old Basil Shahin remains in critical condition.
The driver of the SUV will not face charges.