Local News

After Losing Baby In Hit-And-Run, Johnston County Woman Seeks Justice

Posted August 28, 2003

— Jennifer Avery was six months pregnant when a driver ran her over from behind, killing her unborn son. The driver never stopped.

Sunday, Jennifer and Jim Avery spoke out, and they want justice.

Jennifer Avery does not want anyone to feel sorry for her. She agreed to talk with WRAL in an effort to find the driver of the car that struck her. She wants the driver to know what they did -- take her second unborn child in a year.

The couple buried their unborn son, Joseph, last week.

"He was perfect," Jennifer said. "He was beautiful. If he would have just been able to grow, even for a few more weeks, he would have made it."

Married just two years, Jim and Jennifer have been trying to build a family. They keep finding tragedy instead. Jennifer also suffered a miscarriage in June 2002.

"Just one of those things in life," she said. "But this time, he would have made it, you know. He would have been perfect."

The Averys believe a male was driving a white car on Gurley's Mill Road when he hit Jennifer on Aug. 14. They also say there was a female passenger in the car.

"I would just like them to come forward," Jennifer said, "and if it was an accident, say it was an accident."

It has been a week and a half, and still no answers.

"I'm sure they must be scared," Jennifer said. "I'd be scared, especially if it is a young person."

With the support of friends, family, and even strangers, the Averys cope with the grief and wrestle with the future.

"We've got a long time to think about it," Jennifer said. "It is kind of scary to think about.

"Sure we want another one, really, really bad. But on the other hand, it is a big chance to take again."

Jennifer's 8-year-old daughter was with her when she was hit. The girl was not hurt and managed to give the description of the car to troopers.

There have been several leads, but no arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Princeton Highway Patrol at (800) 662-7956.

Meanwhile, a local family has organized a fund for the Averys. Memorial donations are being accepted through First Citizens Bank or can be sent to the Averys home.

Reward donations are set up through First Citizens Bank attn: Joseph Williams PO Box 1377 Smithfield, NC 27577

Anyone can send a donation, or stop by the branch, and they will deposit it.


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