JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - Days after the crash in Jacksonville that killed four people, troopers tell NewsChannel 12 that witnesses have said there were two men who got out of the car that caused the crash, just before it happened.
A woman who runs a convenience store on Highway 50 in Maple Hill says she saw those two men get dropped off at her store. She says they are customers who stop by her store every once in a while.
"Just a few minutes, they got a phone call and said there was a wreck up there," she said.
On Saturday afternoon, the woman says the two men came in, saying they were riding with a friend, but jumped out of the car when he started driving aggressively.
"He said it wasn't long from when they got in the car, it's just like he went crazy," she said.
After the call, the young men were shaken up, realizing, she says, they had almost been involved in a fatal car crash. That wreck at the intersection of Highways 53 and 258 killed a military mother in an SUV, and three men inside a Hyundai sedan. The only survivor was the mother's 6-month-old baby boy.
"If I I just like to run around reckless, and just disregard for human life, I would hope some of my friends or family would say, maybe this is a problem...maybe this is something we need to look into," said Trooper J.D. Kirk with Highway Patrol.
Now, troopers say they're receiving reports that there were two more men in that Hyundai before the crash, and that the men got out of the car a few miles before the crash site.
This woman says those men were her customers.
"There was a lot going through my head," she said. "I would have hated to be in his position, or been in that vehicle, knowing somebody was driving like that."
Troopers say the driver of that Hyundai, 24-year-old Saquan Nelson, was going 100 miles per hour at impact, but the woman says these men told her they jumped out of Nelson's car as the aggressive driving started.
"He said when he did, he grabbed his cousin that was with him, grabbed him by his arm, and pulled him with him," she added.
Troopers are still investigating what led up to the crash -- and haven't confirmed this woman's story.