Father frantically calls and texts son after seeing car crash and gets horrible news from police officer

A North Carolina father had his worst nightmare come true after being told by a police officer that his son had died in a car accident just outside their home. (Shutterstock)

It is every parent's worst fear to lose a child. For one North Carolina father, it became a terrifying reality.

Jeffrey Leonard noticed a horrible car accident just a few steps from his home in Lexington, North Carolina. Worried, he attempted to call his 18-year-old son Jonathan Leonard to make sure that he was OK. The father and son had been texting back and forth, but the messages ceased when the crash occurred. What Jeffrey Leonard didn't know, however, was that Jonathan had died in the car accident.

"It's like a nightmare you don't wake up from," Leonard told WFMY.

Sgt. R.C. Abernathy of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol told PEOPLE Jonathan had been riding with friends from North Davidson County High School. The car veered off the road, hit several pine trees and flipped over, killing Leonard and fellow passenger Kayleigh Campbell, 15, while critically injuring Denzel Caige Campbell, 17, and the driver of the vehicle Jordan Deal, 16.

Sgt. Abernathy noticed the text messages still coming into Jeffrey's phone from his father. "Where are you?" the first message read. According to PEOPLE, another text message arrived a few minutes later: "John answer me right now. There has been a very serious car wreck below the church... air care is here now... I want to know it isn't you."

Leonard attempted to call his son after receiving no response, when Sgt. Abernathy decided to pick up the teen's phone.

"In reading the texts, I could tell the father knew something was wrong," Abernathy told PEOPLE. "I picked up more or less to ease the father's pain of the unknowing."

Sgt. Abernathy told Leonard the tragic news after a brief conversation. "It's always difficult to tell a loved one (someone) had passed away. We try our best to do it with sympathy and understanding," Abernathy told PEOPLE.

Sgt. Abernathy says that Deal, the driver of the car, has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, a seat belt violation and a limited provisional license violation. Deal is set to appear in court in January for the charges. According to WFMY, neither family of the deceased are blaming Deal for the crash, but are calling it a tragic accident, and ask the public to pray for all involved in the crash.

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