NC Patrol: NY dad, mom, 2 kids die in wreck

May 23, 2009 6:04:13 PM PDT
North Carolina authorities say a mother, father and two children died in a three-vehicle wreck on Interstate 77 in Surry County after the father fell asleep and his minivan crossed the median, hitting two vehicles head-on. In Jamaica the shock is still too fresh -- neighbors in mourning over the death of four members of a beloved family.

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

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