Children of Benson woman killed in crash get Christmas surprise from troopers

Posted December 22, 2016

— After a tragic accident took the life of a mother, a trooper who responded to the scene was touched by what he found.

On Dec. 1, Maria Aguilar Suarez, 34, was walking her children to the bus stop on Barberry Drive in Benson when authorities said a passing car hit and killed her. Her 8-year-old son, Juan Almanza, was seriously injured.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Samosky was on the scene and it was his job to tell the father of the family.

“Some things affect you as well in the job,” said Samosky. “You could just see his heart break. You could almost see and feel the pain he was feeling.”

Those emotions stayed with Samosky as he visited the injured boy in the hospital.

“He said, man I love super heroes and I love sports,” Samosky recalled.

Samosky took that back to the office and, this past weekend, troopers delivered toys and candy to the three children in the family.

“We just collected a little bit of money amongst ourselves. Nothing extravagant,” he said. “It meant a lot to them, you could tell. But, I think it meant a little bit more to myself and my shift partners to be able to do that.”

Samosky said what he found when he arrived at the crash scene earlier this month will stay with him for a long time to come.

“Sometimes with the job; I mean, you’re invested,” he said.

Samosky said Almanza is now back at home and doing well. He hopes to remain in touch with the family.


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  • Kevin O'Donnell Dec 23, 2016
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    Another hero in action. As the note below says, there are more such situations from our men/women in blue that simply don't get the press. Great job troopers!!!

  • Joey Cuddington Dec 23, 2016
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    This act of compassion by troopers is not unusual, but it is rare that we all hear about it. The Johnston County C-6 Troopers have always been a "cut-above" and I appreciate their efforts and dedication!

  • Anna Temple Dec 23, 2016
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    When you remove the rhetoric, when you quiet the battle cries, and you put people face to face and hands and minds doing constructive work the result is inspirational and real. This is civilization, this is empathy, this is how we all wish to respond if only we would. This is real leadership. Thank you.

  • Thomas White Dec 23, 2016
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    Trooper Samosky made a bad situation for a family a little better and he should be seen as an example of how to treat other people.