Local News

Mom focuses on future after son suffers life-threatening injuries

Posted February 10, 2014

— Donna Smith got a phone call Saturday afternoon no parent wants to receive.

"'Ma'am, this is the nurse from UNC," said the voice on the other line. "Two little boys have been airlifted here and they've been in a bad car wreck."

Smith asked if one of the boys was hers.

"Ma'am, you need to get up here now," was the answer.

Smith's six-year-old son, Oscar Watson, was riding in a car with his grandmother, Stella Watson, 65, and his three-year-old stepbrother, Aron Watson, on N.C. Highway 24 in Sampson County when Stella Watson crossed the center line and crashed into the back of a tractor trailer.

Smith's son was thrown from the vehicle - through the windshield. He suffered severe head and spinal injuries and is unable to breathe on his own.

Stella Watson has several broken bones and a punctured lung. Aron Watson is doing well.

Troopers said the tractor trailer was not at fault. Charges are pending in the crash, which is under investigation.

Smith is staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Chapel Hill while her son is in the hospital. She expects to be there for the next few months.

"I can't look at the things that are going to happen to him," she said. "I've just got to look at that he's here and I've got another chance."


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  • Anita Lambert Hawley Feb 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Imagine getting a visit from the Sampson Co. HP informing you your son has been killed in a hit and run. That happened to me 2 1/2 years ago and WRAL never aired the story.

  • gcannon Feb 11, 2014

    So terrible for all involved. I will pray for all. I know the grandmother feels so guilty; however, accidents do happen.

  • marciamal1 Feb 11, 2014

    My thoughts and prayers go out to this family to be experiencing such a horrific tragedy. The Ronald McDonald house provides such great care for families that are in these type of situations. May her son be showered with blessings for a speedy recovery.

  • GALNC Feb 11, 2014

    Praying for the little boy

  • mike275132 Feb 11, 2014

    "Smith's son was thrown from the vehicle - through the windshield"

    Was he wearing a seat belt?

  • abwhite88 Feb 11, 2014

    How was he thrown from the vehicle? Very sad.

  • EricaSliver Feb 11, 2014

    How scary...I can't imagine getting that phone call. I hope her son recovers fully and the family can heal.

  • kcastleberry Feb 11, 2014

    Praying for all of them. I have a 6 year old myself and I can't imagine.