Local News

Man critically injured while rushing to fatal crash

Posted February 13
Updated February 17

— An 18-year-old died Sunday in a car crash in Person County, and officials say his mother's boyfriend was critically injured in a separate crash while rushing to help.

Officials said Demari Leo Daye, a student at Person High School, was driving on Allens Chapel Church Road around 7:30 p.m. when his 1986 Toyota pickup truck ran off the road to the right, overcorrected, ran off the road to the left and overturned. He was thrown from the vehicle.

Lynne Jackson said she heard the crash and ran outside.

"We realized someone was in the ditch," Jackson said. "It was horrible. We have boys, and to think of the call that parent got is just horrific, and anyone could get that call at any moment. It was very hard to see all that going on."

Jackson said members of her family started CPR on Daye while they waited for help to arrive.

"They worked hard to get him back. His injuries were just too much," she said.

Daye was not wearing a seatbelt and died as a result of his injuries. An unidentified teenager riding in the passenger seat was not injured.

Counselors were on hand Monday at Person High to help students and staff cope with the loss.

"Our primary concern was just letting students know we are here, and we are available for them however they need us to help," said Laquita Lipscombe, a counselor at Person High.

Teachers at the school said the mood was somber during classes on Monday.

"He will always be remembered in my classroom. His desk will remain empty," said Morgan Mayer, Daye's English teacher .

Daye's coworkers at La Piazza Italian Restaurant remembered him by wearing purple ribbons.

"Every time he came into work, he came with a smile, he'd leave with a smile. He loved helping everybody out. He was just a great guy to be around," said Kris Cates, assistant manager at Piazza Italian Restaurant.

Highway Patrol troopers said Jeremy Paylor was on his way to help the teen when he was injured in a separate crash. According to the patrol, Paylor was speeding across the centerline and struck an SUV carrying two children.

Paylor rushed to the scene as soon as his family heard about Daye's crash, officials said. His crash occurred about 2 miles from the original wreck.

Paylor remains in critical condition at Duke University Hospital. The driver of the SUV and the children, ages 8 and 10, were not badly injured in the crash.

The crashes are under investigation, but police do not believe alcohol to be involved in either case.


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  • Charles Williams Feb 14, 2017
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    We don't need a nanny state telling us what we must do. If you're not smart enough to buckle up, the consequences are yours.
    This, my friends, is called "thinning the herd"

  • Richard Burrough Feb 14, 2017
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    The idea of no car starting without seat belts being buckled is not a bad idea, but it would be one more cog in the machinery that if the seat belt switch went bad, it might keep the car from starting. Just one more thing to go wrong. Just do the adult thing and use seat belts. It's not that hard folks!

  • Jeff Freuler Feb 13, 2017
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    Someone would invent a device to circumvent it

  • Sam Dutes Feb 13, 2017
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    I believe something like this was tried in 1974, but the public rejected it so badly it was withdrawn......attitudes may be different today though.

  • Laura Cunningham Feb 13, 2017
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    I wish that wearing a seatbelt wasn't an optional thing. Strap it in or else your vehicle won't start. Sensors to make sure the driver & passenger are buckled up.