CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A worship leader from North Carolina and his wife are mourning the loss of both of their children following a car accident over the weekend.
According to reports, Gentry Eddings of Forest Lake Church in Ballantyne and his wife Hadley traveled to Gentry’s sister’s wedding on Friday where Eddings officiated over the service. The two traveled separately in a caravan of four family vehicles as they returned home the following day. Hadley, eight months pregnant, rode with the couple’s two-year-old son Dobbs.
But as the vehicles came to a stop at a red light in the town of Hempstead, the box truck behind them slammed into the back of Gentry’s vehicle, who was riding in the last vehicle of the caravan. The impact pushed Gentry’s car off to the right, and then struck Hadley’s vehicle, smashing the rear where Dobbs was riding in his car seat.
While Gentry and Hadley sustained minor injuries, Dobbs died on the way to the hospital. Hadley was taken to the operating room for an emergency C-section to deliver the couple’s 38-week-old baby, who they named Reed.
As the baby suffered bleeding on the brain, he was flown to another hospital for pediatric medical attention. But on Monday, Baby Reed died as well.
Matthew Deans, 28, who was driving the box truck, has now been charged with misdemeanor death by a vehicle and failure to reduce speed. Police state that Deans explained to them that he tried to brake, but his brakes weren’t working.
“He was driving down the road eating and he saw that traffic was stopped,” Trooper Richard Hendrickson told WSOC-TV. “And he tried to stop his truck and it just wouldn’t stop.”
Forest Hill Senior Pastor David Chadwick broke the news to the congregation via email on Tuesday.
“Gentry and Hadley are beloved by us all,” he wrote. “[Gentry] is a man of enormous integrity. They both possess a deep faith. But it will be challenged in the days and weeks to come like no other time.”
“There are no words to describe how sad they feel now,” Chadwick added to the Charlotte Observer. “The feeling is just incomprehensible.”
“While these incredibly tragic events are hard for us to understand, we know that God is always in control even in our pain,” the fundraiser reads. “These are exceedingly demanding hours for Gentry and Hadley.”