Local News

Mother Killed, Baby Survives U.S. 70 Wreck

Posted January 1, 2008

— A 3-month-old boy survived an early Tuesday wreck on U.S. Highway 70 that killed his mother, authorities said.

Kashima Rebecca Marie Brunn, 25, drove off the side of the highway near Angier Avenue, went down an embankment and hit a tree at about 4:50 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brunn's son, Alex, was strapped in his car seat in the back seat and escaped injury, authorities said. The infant was taken to Duke University Hospital as a precaution.

"It was very shocking to know about the accident, completely. But it was a great relief to know the baby survived," said Margot Pettiford, Alex's great-grandmother.

Al Cleveland, Alex's father and Brunn's boyfriend, said he talked to Brunn about 30 minutes before the wreck. He said she hadn't been drinking and was simply taking a drive.

Authorities also said they didn't believe alcohol played a role in the wreck, which remains under investigation.

Brunn, a native of Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, also leaves behind two other children. Cleveland said he would make sure Alex knows about his mother as he grows up.

"I'm going to tell him everything about his mom, everything I can remember. She loved him to death," he said.

Despite the tragedy, the family is focusing on Alex.

"He can tell his children, glory to God, what he come through – that accident – how he survived that accident," Pettiford said.

"I get to the hospital to see the baby, and the baby didn't have a scratch on him, not a nick," Cleveland said. "For him to survive, it's strictly a blessing from God. It's a blessing."


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  • dogmama Jan 2, 2008

    This is such a tragedy. I feel for the family. But why is it that so many children have unmarried parents? Doesn't anybody believe in two-parent families anymore?

  • justjean Jan 2, 2008

    Maybe she should have been wearing a helmet

  • mom2threecld Jan 2, 2008

    circlecity, you don't have enough info to judge her. maybe the baby couldn't sleep and she had gone a long time without sleep and rest herself so she was trying to soothe the baby and instead soothed herself. having a new baby is exhausting. I have 3 and at that age days and nights can be mixed up, babies don't have any idea of day and night. quit judging this lady,we all have limited info. and maybe, just maybe the other kids were with their dad, no rule that only mommy can take care of them.

  • Cheeksgirl Jan 2, 2008

    First, my condolences to the family of this young lady.

    Second, who cares as to the reason why she was out. That is irrelevant. Get a life and stop worrying about minor issues that do not concern you.

    The media didn't state why she was out that time of morning...why? Because it is none of our business!So insensitive to the loss of life!

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jan 2, 2008

    circlecity- you clearly know nothing about kids. A baby that young very rarely has his days and night correct. Stop being so judgemental.

  • aquamama Jan 2, 2008

    I've taken my babies out for drives in the middle of the night before, whether to soothe a fussy baby or collect some tylenol or whatever. Babies don't keep regular schedules. There could have been numerous reasons for her trip out. That doesn't make her irresponsible. What difference does it make? I'm glad the baby is ok. It's tragic that his mama is not.

  • Phrostbite Jan 2, 2008

    Not one of us knows the day or time that our final moment on Earth will arrive. As for who, where, why...UNIMPORTANT.

  • newssaavy72 Jan 2, 2008

    I feel for the family of this young mother and pray blessings to the family. My husband I drove out 1st daughter around in the wee hours of the morning when she was an infant. It really helped. She may have fallen asleep and was very tired. The father should have been with the mother and baby that time of morning.

  • monicadixon Jan 2, 2008

    Tashima lived next door to me, I just watched the baby for her not to long ago so she could run to the store. My son plays with her other two kids. I'm still in shock about everything that happened I just can't believe. I kind of have a suspicion as to why she was out at 4:30am, but that's another story. She was a loving and kind person who clearly didn't deserve this. She had also just celebrated a birthday about 2-3 weeks ago. You will be missed!! And if there is anything that I can do to help the family you guys just let me know I'm right next door.

    Much Love

  • BBBB Jan 2, 2008

    Sad story.
    Glad the family is focusing on the baby.