Local News

Children, Mother Pulled From Burning Car After Wreck

Posted October 19, 2006 5:26 a.m. EDT

— Quick-thinking witnesses pulled a woman and two children to safety when their car burst into flames following a high-speed chase.

A Dunn police officer spotted a Chevrolet Impala speeding on Interstate 95 Tuesday and chased it onto Jonesboro Road, with speeds reaching 100 mph, police said.

The Impala smashed through a fence and a business sign before plowing into several parked cars and a telephone pole and bursting into flames, police said.

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    Witnesses said driver jumped out of the burning car and fled on foot, leaving a woman and two children, ages 3 and 6, in the back seat.

    "The guy that was in it jumped out, went right over the kids and the lady," said Marie Cunningham, who was working in a nearby business. "(The children) were crying, scared."

    Cunningham ran toward the fire and rescued one of the children.

    "The back window was broken out, so I went up on the trunk and grabbed one," she said.

    Witnesses from a nearby auto parts store pulled the other child and the woman out of the burning car, police said.

    Police said they were about to break off the chase, which had lasted only about two minutes, when the Impala crashed. Witnesses said it was fortunate no one was seriously injured.

    "We were extremely busy. Lots of folks could've been involved," said Dwight Weaver, who works nearby.

    Authorities are searching for Henry Mitchell, 23, of Deland, Fla., in connection with the incident. He led Florida authorities on a chase on Monday, police said.

    The children's mother, Danielle Paula Core, 24, also of Deland, has been charged with child abuse for endangering their lives, police said.