Local News

Man Dies in Wreck After Wife Gives Birth

Posted November 2, 2007 2:29 a.m. EDT
Updated November 2, 2007 8:00 p.m. EDT

— A Wendell man died in a traffic accident late Thursday after leaving his wife's bedside following the birth of their son, authorities said.

John Neyland, 28, was driving home from Rex Hospital when he was killed in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 64 Business about one mile east of Mark's Creek Road shortly before 11:30 p.m., authorities said.

Witnesses told authorities that Neyland's sport utility vehicle swerved, ran off the highway and hit a tree in a yard. Neyland was conscious when emergency medical personnel arrived, but died at WakeMed.

Authorities said an autopsy would be performed to help determine what caused the accident.

Neighbors said Neyland ran several businesses out of his home and described him as devoted to his wife, Rexana, and their 2-year-old son.

"He was great with his kids. His kids loved him," neighbor Jamie Smith said. "Anything the little boy wanted, his dad sure enough made sure he had it."

Robert Neyland said his son stayed at the hospital with his wife after she delivered on Halloween night and returned to the hospital after getting off work Thursday. John Neyland was returning home for the first time in two days to get some rest when the wreck occurred, his father said.

"He said he was just tired. He looked really tired and stuff. (A friend) told him he needed to go lie down and get a couple hours of sleep," Smith said.

Rexana Neyland's father died this year of cancer, and her family, in-laws and friends spent much of Friday at the hospital to support her.

"It was shocking. It was absolutely shocking," neighbor Deb Bonner said of the fatal wreck. "It's hard to imagine what she's going through right now."

A baby seat in John Neyland's SUV was destroyed in the accident, so Rex Hospital staff purchased a new one for the family.

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