‘Pray for us’: NC family speaks after crash kills 2, severely injures toddler

North Carolina news

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) – A family is heartbroken after losing loved ones in a deadly crash this past weekend in Forsyth County. Two people died and a toddler who was in the backseat survived, but with serious injuries

“It’s going to take us a long time to get over this one and we may never,” said Kimberly Cole, mother of Crystal Dillon who died in the crash. 

She wiped away tears, the pain of losing her daughter is still fresh. “It’s just so terrible,” she said. “I just hate to see her go so soon.”

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, 36-year-old Dillon died in a crash on Frye Bridge Road and Franklin Road in Clemmons around 6 p.m. on Oct. 23. Dillon’s boyfriend 44-year-old Billy Rothrock was also killed. He was in the passenger seat.

“I could just imagine what was going through her mind,” Cole said. “That moment when she was alert.” 

While the crash is still under investigation, state troopers told FOX8 it happened when Dillon’s car went left of center and hit a Jeep head-on. Investigators said Dillon and Rothrock were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.  

“Every time I ever rode with her she’d buckle up,” she said. “She’s always been a cautious person and I just cannot see my daughter driving recklessly or dangerously.” 

Dillon was a mother of three, a 15-year-old, 8-year-old, and 2-year-old. Cole is hugging them close. “They’re all upset, crying,” Cole said. “Keep myself together the best I can but it’s very hard.”

The 2-year-old, Connor Dillon, was buckled-up in the backseat of the car. He survived the crash and was rushed to Brenner Children’s Hospital on the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Campus. The most severe injuries were to his neck and spine. 

“The impact was so hard that it pulled a lot of his ligaments loose and his bottom legs hit the back of the passenger seat so hard. That could’ve had a lot to do with why it hurt him so bad,” she said.

He’s had multiple surgeries on his neck and spine. The impact from the injuries could last his lifetime.  

Cole told FOX8 tells me he’s slowly making progress and she’ll be right by his side now that his mother is gone.  

“It’s a lot on us to take in,” Cole said. “Pray for us and hope for the best.” 

She holds on to hope her grandson will get well soon. There’s no timeframe for when Dillon will be released from the hospital.

The people in the Jeep were left with minor injuries.

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