Mother of three killed in fatal Charlotte crash had fled Afghanistan with family
Nabila Rasoul and her English tutor were both struck and killed while walking on sidewalk
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A family fleeing the violence and turmoil in Afghanistan is now dealing with tragedy here at home in Charlotte. A mother of three and along with a volunteer teaching her English were both killed on Tuesday when they were walking down the sidewalk on East W.T. Harris Boulevard and were struck by a car. Police say the driver, 21-year-old James Payne, was driving while impaired.
“Unfortunately, yesterday, we had a bad accident near to my house,” said Ahmad Rasoul, the husband of Nabila Rasoul and father of the couple’s three young children.
The accident happened less than a block from the family’s home.
Police say Payne was driving while impaired and speeding and lost control when he hit a Ram truck that ran off the road. That truck then overturned, hitting Rasoul and 75-year-old Enedina Fernandez while they were walking on the sidewalk. The two were walking to church just before 3 p.m. on Tuesday when the accident happened in the 4900 block of East W.T. Harris Boulevard.
Today Ahmad is distraught at the loss of his wife and wondering how he will care for his three young children, ages 4, 3, and two months.
“This is very bad action for me and I am not very good,” Rasoul said. “I came to America from Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not very good country now and the Taliban is there, now my wife is not in here, I don’t like America without my wife and my three children are staying with me.”
His hope now is that the US government might help in his efforts to bring his parents to America so that they can help him to care for the children.
“I want from government of America to bring my parents to America, my mother and my father are still in Afghanistan,” Rasoul said.
Payne was in court on Wednesday. The judge increased the bond amounts set for several of the charges. His total bond amount is now $26,500. His next court dates are set for March 2 for a bond hearing and March 7 for a probable cause hearing.
Friends have set up this GoFundMe page for anyone wishing to help the Rasoul family.
Gerry Carter, Executive Director and CEO of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, provided a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“We are heartbroken over the loss of Dina Fernandez and Nabila Rasoul, who were out for a walk after working together on an English lesson Tuesday afternoon. Dina was a passionate volunteer who stepped up to help Catholic Charities in its efforts to resettle Afghan evacuees into our community, and Nabila and her family were recent arrivals. Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Charlotte are reaching out to both families to assist in any way we can, and we hope everyone in the Charlotte community will join us in praying for the families, that they may find strength and support to sustain them in their grief over the sudden, tragic loss of their loved ones,” Carter said.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story said that Payne lost control of his vehicle, hitting and killing Rasoul and Enedina Fernandez. Payne did lose control but hit the Ram truck which then hit Rasoul and Enedina Fernandez while they were walking. All details in our web story have been updated with the correct sequence of events.
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