Investigators identify child, two women killed in head-on crash

Published: Jul. 17, 2014 at 9:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2016 at 2:11 AM EDT
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four-year-old Carson Handy
four-year-old Carson Handy
75-year-old Carolyn Handy
75-year-old Carolyn Handy
29-year-old Sabrina Handy
29-year-old Sabrina Handy

CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV ) - The names of a child and two women killed in a head on crash on Wednesday evening have been released by investigators, as well as a possible reason they were traveling around 90 mph when killed.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sabrina Handy, 75-year-old Carolyn Handy and four-year-old Carson Handy were killed in a crash along Morganton Boulevard.

Troopers said Thursday that the grandmother, Carolyn Handy, may have been having a medical issue and Sabrina Handy was trying to get her back to Caldwell Memorial Hospital.

David Tanyer says it's a scene he wish he could forget.

"It's a real tragedy here."

Even State Troopers who have covered many wrecks before were shaken up by what happened on Morganton Boulevard.

"It's real bad, one of the worst, said Trooper C.R. Mangum.

Two cars, one traveling at high speed, hit head-on along the highway, also known as Highway 18 and US 64.  

The collision happened just before 6 p.m. right across the street from the Gamewell Fire Department.
A Kia with the Handy family was heading towards Lenoir, a Lexus with two people inside had just turned onto the highway heading the other way.

Investigators say witnesses have told them the driver of the Kia, Sabrina Handy, was speeding and weaving and tried to pass a line of cars in the middle turn lane then drifted even more into oncoming traffic.

Several vehicles were able to avoid it but not the Lexus. The head-on impact crushed the front end of the Lexus and sent the Kia tumbling down a steep bank. 

Carson Handy was thrown out of the vehicle. WBTV has learned that he was in a car seat during the crash, but that the seat was not properly installed.

By the time rescue crews could get to everyone, Sabrina and Carolyn were dead. Carson died a short time later.

The two injured people in the Lexus, Jeraline Patterson and Adrine Campbell, were rushed to a local hospital and are expected to be okay.

Investigators say the speedometer in the Kia was frozen at 90 miles per hour after the wreck.

"Speed was definitely the factor in this serious wreck," said Mangum.

Trooper Derek Dawson with NCHP says this accident is an opportunity to remind people, in the event of a medical emergency, you should pull over and call 911. Trooper Dawson also passionately pleas for all parents to have their child's car seat checked out by a professional. He says Carson's car seat wasn't installed correctly and he wasn't properly strapped in.

Dawson says if he would have been properly restrained, Carson may have survived the accident.

"I have no doubt that Sabrina Handy loved her son just as much as we all love our children however, her lack of knowledge about the car seat she was using, contributed to his death," Trooper Dawson said.

For more information on child seat safety, check out

Dawson also says Caldwell County Sheriff's Office offers bi-monthly checking of child seats free of charge. For more information on that, call 828-758-2324

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