Child killed, father injured

Jan. 28, 2013 @ 06:56 PM

A Henderson neighborhood is reeling from the death of a 5-year-old and serious injuries to his father after both were struck while walking to a park.

Jayden Chad Stokes was pronounced dead at the hospital Sunday afternoon from the result of extensive injuries. His father, 22-year-old Richard Thomas “Chad” Stokes, is stable in Duke University Medical Center.

The two were walking in the 600 block of East Montgomery Street just after 1 p.m. Sunday when they were hit by a truck driven by Vincent Eugene Gregory. Gregory is facing charges of felony death by motor vehicle, assault inflicting serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired and driving while license revoked. He was jailed with a secured bond of $1,001,000.

Gregory made a first appearance in Vance County District Court Monday. The case was continued and bond was not altered.

Gregory, 47, of 270 Sparrow Lane in Henderson, was driving a GMC truck. His truck was going east and drove left of the roadway. The truck collided with a utility pole, going over the curb and hitting the father and son before coming to rest in a tree.

All three were transported to a hospital.

“We were walking to the park to play,” Richard Stokes said by telephone from Durham. “He killed my son. He was going 40 to 45 miles per hour, tearing through, and my son died.

“He was a great kid,” he added. “He loved to play outside. He loved everybody, and he was looking forward to starting school in the fall.”

He said that his injuries include a broken back, broken ribs, a punctured lung, other broken bones and scrapes, but the pain he felt most was the loss of his son.

Lt. Christopher Ball said postings about the incident are on the department’s Facebook page. The N.C. Highway Patrol is assisting the Henderson police in the ongoing investigation, according to Ball.

Alcohol is suspected as being a contributing factor, according to Ball.


Contact the writer at