Local News

Woman who escaped fiery SUV found dead

Posted October 13, 2010

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— A month after a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper rescued a Georgia woman and her four young children from their burning minivan, the woman was found dead in her home, police said.

Jessica White DePriest, 24, was found dead by a relative who visited the family Wednesday morning, said Detective Kyle Lairamore of the Hinesville Police Department.

Investigators don't suspect foul play, but they are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of DePriest's death, Lairamore said.

On Sept. 9, DePriest and her children were headed to Hinesville from her parents' home in Dunn when engine trouble forced her to the shoulder of Interstate 95 near Lumberton.

Trooper Alan Humphrey stopped to help, and he discovered the minivan's engine was on fire. As the flames quickly spread, Humphrey pulled 18-month-old triplets Raychel, Rebekah and Kalob and 2½-year-old Jakob from the vehicle.

A passing driver used a fire extinguisher to slow the flames enough for Humphrey to get the family to safety before the minivan's gas tank exploded.


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  • MudLife Oct 20, 2010

    This came out in the Dunn paper yesterday. It's so sad. She was 4 years older than me and devasting. I pray for her family. They did an autopsy on her because she found dead last week. They suspect no foul play and no suicide. So very sad.

  • OneLove Oct 14, 2010

    Such a tragic loss. Praying for the family. Hoping there are lots of people to help with the babies -

  • Fireflies Rock Oct 14, 2010

    So sad, to escape from one tragedy to die so young anyway. Strengh to her poor husband, who has a long road ahead of him with 4 babies and his horrible loss. I hope he has a good family support system. Keeping the family in my thoughts.

  • Kiki2121 Oct 14, 2010

    Her husband is currently deployed to Iraq. This family definately needs lots of prayers.

  • vipcruizer2 Oct 14, 2010

    Wow. When it's your time, it's your time.

  • grnpnd7 Oct 14, 2010

    What a tragedy; My prayers go out to her babies and her husband and family...Life is so strange.

  • awomnsptofview Oct 14, 2010

    Very sad ....Prayers for that familt.

  • kelia Oct 13, 2010

    r.i.p. bless her an the kids family that sad

  • Nana Oct 13, 2010

    Praying for the family.

  • justafella Oct 13, 2010

    This is truely sad :(