Pregnant Woman in Labor Dies With Unborn Child, 3 Other Family Members in Crash En Route to Hospital
A pregnant South Carolina woman died in labor in a crash with her unborn child and three other family members Friday as she was being rushed to a local hospital to give birth.
"I don't remember in my life time there being a collision in a single car accident where five people lost their lives," Darlington county coroner Todd Hardee said of the crash that devastated what should have been a joyous, life-giving end, according to WLTX.
"One of the people in the family was pregnant and went into labor, as I'm told, and the family got into the automobile to go to the hospital," Hardee explained.
Police confirmed that the pregnant woman, Chikari Douglas-Rouse, 28, of Hartsville and her unborn child were killed when she was ejected from a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the crash that occurred around 10 p.m. on Rogers Road in South Carolina's Darlington County.
Also dead from the crash are: Leonard Rouse, 52; Nakisha Rouse, 14, and a baby boy named Douglas-Graham, according to WMBF News. Eleven people were in the vehicle.
Police say the car was traveling east when it ran off the side of the road into a drainage ditch and overturned, ejecting all of the passengers. All the victims including the driver were not wearing seatbelts, police say.
"It appears the car probably left the roadway and they overcorrected and the car began to roll over and over," Hardee told WLTX. "All the windows were out, and as it rolled whatever position they were in the car is how they would exit the window there."
The other passengers in the vehicle who were transported to McLeod Hospital also suffered serious injury from the crash which is reportedly the deadliest single-vehicle collision in over 20 years in Darlington County.
Chikari's friends and family members reacted to her death in shock on social media.
"This bothers my spirit baby! I'm in real tears! I love you. All of y'all! Everyone was great to me while I was around and still when I see y'all it's still love! RIH cuz! I'm gonna miss u! #Heavenhealmyheart," wrote Shontelle Davis.
Nakisha's devastated mother said the loss of five family members at one time was difficult to manage, the Mirror noted.
"Don't know really how to feel to lose five close family members at once with one of them being my child. Body so num [sic]," the teen's mother noted.
The family is seeking help to bury their loved ones with a $50,000 GoFundMe Campaign. Just under $4,000 has been raised in two days.