State Highway Patrol Capt. Everett Clendenin says 44-year-old Wayne Hicks, of Jamaica, N.Y., was driving south Friday when his van crossed the median and struck two northbound vehicles around 9 a.m.
The family was about halfway through the 21-hour drive when Hicks apparently fell asleep behind the wheel.
Hicks died, along with his 38-year-old wife Natalie; 9-year-old son Wayne Jr.; and 3-year-old daughter Natalya. Somehow, three of the couple's children survived the.
Today the 44-year father old was remembered as a loving husband, father and neighbor.
The highway was closed in both directions either because of the wreck or because the lanes were needed for medical helicopters.
Hicks was a deacon at the Community Church of in Jamaica -- where members held an emotional vigil last night.
The surviving children -- including one who was seriously injured -- remain in the custody of North Carolina officials. The church's pastor says he will travel there to petition for guardianship of the boys.
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS