Man critically injured in crash while rushing to NC teen’s deadly wreck

Man critically injured in crash while rushing to NC teen’s deadly wreck

ROXBORO, N.C. (Carleigh Griffeth/WNCN) - A community, school and mother are mourning after a Person High School student was killed in a car crash Sunday night.

Then, just moments after that crash, there was another one less than two miles down the road.

The person injured in the second wreck, Jeremy Paylor, was on his way to help at the scene of the first crash. He's in critical condition at Duke University Hospital as of Monday night.

Paylor is dating the mother of the teen who was killed.

Demari Daye, 18, wrecked his truck just a few miles from home Sunday around 7:30 p.m.

Paylor was rushing to the scene when he also got in a wreck. It's a heart-wrenching situation that is taking a toll on the small town of Roxboro.

"Students and teachers have just been in shock. Just surprised and unprepared, nothing can prepare you," said Principal Nell Sydnor-Waugh of Person High School.

Sydnor-Waugh says Person High doesn't feel the same without Daye, a junior she calls respectable and responsible.

"Just looking where he sat in the classroom, you know in that empty chair, knowing that he won't be returning is awfully sad," said Sydnor-Waugh.

Daye's cousin D'Andre Daye is still grappling with the tragedy and visited the scene of the crash Monday to better understand.

"I seen Demari on Friday, in the morning I shook his hand and everything," said D'Andre Daye.

"When you've got a friend, and then he's gone, there's nothing you can do about it. On the bus I can't talk to him no more," said D'Andre Daye.

The accident happened in Lynne Jackson's front yard off Allens Chapel Church Road. Daye was thrown from the truck.

"There was a truck in the driveway that had flipped over and they saw a young man in the ditch," said Jackson.

Another teen in the vehicle during the crash was not badly injured. Jackson and several others tried to help Daye, and saw his mother arrive at the scene.

"I saw a lady get out and she called out his name and said, 'That's Mari!'" said Jackson.

At the same time Paylor was rushing to be with Daye's mother when he ran into another car. The driver and two passengers of the other car, an eight and ten-year-old, were not seriously injured in the crash.

Now the community is praying for one man's recovery while remembering another's bright life.

"He was my best friend. He's such a good guy…Everything he did, he gave it his all, everything, even the smallest things," said Destiny McClure, who worked with Daye at La Piazza Italian Restaurant.

"They're all taking it hard too. They're all wearing a ribbon, a purple ribbon for him," said McClure.

Daye's classmates will release balloons in his honor Friday at school.