CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Five people, including four from the same Mount Holly, North Carolina family, were killed in crash July 3 night on a section of Interstate 485 in Charlotte that ultimately resulted in the injuries of four others, including a North Carolina state trooper.
A memorial service will be held later this month for the four family members that died. Their funeral is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 at the Family Worship Center in Mount Holly.
Matthew Obester and Andrea Obester, and their two daughters, 12-year-old Elizabeth Obester and 7-year-old Violet Obester were in their SUV when they were hit head-on, according to officials.
They are now survived by their 14-year-old Jacob, who was not with them when the crash happened. A GoFundMe page has been set up to give financial support to "lift Jacob up for his future" after losing both his parents and his sisters.
Family and friends of the Obester family said they were a fun-loving, outdoor family and had their whole lives ahead of them.
"There's just no way you would ever think that they're not going to come walking through the door," said Matthew's mother Lynn Sherrill, who is grieving the loss of her son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters.
"So loving, so full of life," Sherrill said.
Their children loved horseback riding, according to Sherrill. Matthew had just started a new construction job and Andrea ran an animal rescue organization called Angel Ark Animal Rescue.
"Everybody hit the floor crying," said Ashley Jenkins, who worked with Andrea at the animal shelter. She said the two had been friends for about 10 years.
The driver accused of causing the multi-vehicle crash on I-485 that killed five people was charged with five counts of second-degree murder Friday.
According to North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Dakeia Charles was charged with five counts of second-degree murder, as well as three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, DWI and speeding.
Troopers said Charles was driving on a revoked license at the time of the wreck.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Charles was traveling over 120 miles per hour on outbound I-485 near W.T. Harris Boulevard when he clipped a box truck, causing the truck to drive across the median and hit two cars on the I-485 inner loop.
According to court records, a judge revoked Charles' license after he was convicted of driving drunk in Lincoln County in 2017.
At the time of his arrest, Charles had a .10 blood alcohol concentration, which is above the .08 legal limit.
On June 22, law enforcement in Stanly County cited Charles for driving with a revoked license.
Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo was seriously injured while assisting in the crash investigation. The Highway Patrol said Troy Edmiston struck the trooper's car, which pushed into him as he was re-shutting down the highway on the morning of July 4.
Trooper Ray Pierce said he's still recovering from his injuries at the hospital.
"He's had a few good days, but he's also had a few days," Trooper Pierce said. "Doctors are still optimistic. The family's still optimistic."
Following both incidents, the Highway Patrol and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office are teaming up to crack down on drivers breaking the law on I-485.
"We're trying to educate the public and slow them down," Trooper Pierce said. "We unfortunately have seen what happens when people do drive careless and reckless."