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SUV accident kills 5 in eastern North Carolina

By Rick Martin, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Victims include boyfriend, girlfriend and three small children
  • State trooper says driver was speeding
  • Accident occurred on a gravel road in a national forest, trooper says

(CNN) -- A speeding driver traveling through Croatan National Forest in eastern North Carolina Sunday evening lost control of her SUV which overturned killing herself, another adult passenger and three children, a state highway patrol trooper told CNN.

The accident occurred shortly before 6:00 p.m., according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper R.A. Woods. Police identified the driver as Maria Gonzales, 24, and the passengers as Abdil Salis, 24; Alexander Gomez, 6; Adyelis Salgonzalez, 2; and four-month-old Abdil Salis, Jr.

The state trooper said the two youngest victims were found in their child restraints.

Woods said Gonzales was driving a 1996 Chevy Blazer on a gravel road in the Craven County part of the national forest when she lost control of the vehicle. The SUV, he said, ran off the road and overturned in a canal. Woods said "the driver was driving too fast and lost control."

"We've had fatal accidents on this stretch of the road before, but this is the first time I've run across a family killed at one time," said Woods.

Woods said the adults traveling in the vehicle were boyfriend and girlfriend. He did not say how all five victims were related to each other.