Matthew Deans has plead guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter following a crash that killed a Charlotte child and an unborn child, WECT reports from a Wilimington courtroom.
A grand jury indicted Deans Monday for involuntary manslaughter for the May 23 crash that killed Reed and Gentry "Dobbs" Eddings in Pender County, North Carolina. Two-year-old Dobbs and unborn Reed were traveling with their mother, Hadley, on Sloop Point Loop Road near Wilimington when the seafood delivery truck being driven by Deans crashed into them. The initial accident involving Hadley's vehicle caused her car to run into her husband's vehicle, who was driving next to them. Hadley had minor injuries from the accident and her husband, Gentry, was unhurt.
"He said he looked up and saw the traffic stopped and hit the brakes and slid into them," North Carolina Troopier Richard Hendrickson previously told Fox 46 News.
28-year-old Hadley Eddings, who was eight months pregnant, gave birth to Reed in an emergency Caesarean section at New Hanover Regional Medical Center following the crash. Reed died a few days later.
Deans, who was previously charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to reduce speed, plead guilty Wednesday morning during an initial court appearance for charges of involuntary manslaughter of an unborn child and involuntary manslaughter.
Gentry Eddings, 28, is a senior pastor at Forest Hill Church in Charlotte. A week after the crash, Eddings said he forgave the truck driver.
Gentry and Hadley Eddings released the following statement Wednesday:
"We are thankful that Matthew Deans was willing to accept responsibility for what has happened. We believe he was sincere in his apology. Our hearts still have compassion for him and we were glad to have the opportunity to express our forgiveness to him directly. Our hope and prayer is that he would be restored and live a good life. We are sincerely thankful to District Attorney Ben David and his team, who poured their hearts into achieving justice for Dobbs and Reed. "