When one man arrived at the scene of a horrific car accident, he knew he had to help. However, he feared he was too late when he discovered the driver was already dead. But then he heard cries coming from the backseat.
Autumn Sharp resided in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She lived there with her partner, Josh Carnahan, and their children. And, since 2013, she had dedicated her life to her family, working as a stay-at-home mom to be close to them.
According to Sharp’s Facebook page, the couple were parents to three children. Their eldest, Camden Jay, was born in 2013. And, since then, they’d also added Brooklyn Renee and Ambria Marie to their brood.
Life was on the up for Sharp and her family. And, in 2016, she finally tied the knot with Carnahan. Later, she shared images of the special occasion on Facebook, simply writing, “Happiest day of our life!”
Although she was just 20 years old, Sharp had a wisdom beyond her years when it came to her kids. Her neighbors noted that she was an excellent mom. “I remember how sweet and wonderful she was and how much she loved her kids,” Theresa Borrego told WNCT in May 2017.
“She and Josh were starting out with a nice family and doing great,” the family’s neighbor went on to explain. And, she observed, “They were wonderful. They were wonderful people.”
Her family agreed that Sharp was “an awesome mom.” According to them, she’d do anything for her kids. In fact, her three little ones were her absolute “pride and joy,” they said.
But, tragedy rocked the well-loved family in May 2017. Sharp had been riding in the family’s Ford Explorer along Davis Road. However, the mom-of-three lost control of the vehicle in a bad way.
According to Highway Patrol trooper C. Cross, Sharp ran her car off to the right but overcorrected when pulling it back left. This caused her to cross the center line. So, she yanked her steering wheel right once more and flipped her car over.
Cross told JDNews.com, “I believe that she was distracted.” Because she had not been wearing her seat belt, Sharp was thrown from the car wreckage. As a result, she sadly lost her life.
Aaron Parker, who lives nearby the crash site, heard the impact from his home. Consequently, he rushed to the scene to help. However, when he got there, all he could hear was screaming children.
It turned out Sharp had been traveling in the car with her two youngest children. They were both still in their car seats. However, the accident had ejected one of them from the car, leaving the other trapped inside.
When Parker arrived at the crash site, he could see a baby in the wreckage. So, he knew he had to help. As a result, he crawled over broken glass to retrieve the infant and deliver her to safety.
“I got the baby out of the car and the first thing she did was she smiled at me,” Parker recalled in an interview with WCTI in May 2017. “She was screaming at first and when I got in there I just told her it’s gonna be okay. And I held her for a while until the ambulance came.”
It was a scene that will live with Parker forever. “I teared up. I cried. It was really bad to see something like that happen,” he said. “I was thinking about my eight-month old baby girl, Claire. And, you know, I hope anybody would have done the same thing.”
Before long, emergency teams from the local Highway Patrol troopers, Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department arrived at the scene. Parker handed the children over to officials who took them to Onslow Memorial Hospital.
After an evaluation, doctors confirmed the children would make a full recovery. However, their life would never be the same again. They and their family were now facing a future without their mother.
Naturally, Sharp’s death devastated her entire family. Following her passing, her cousin Tabitha Spencer wrote a tribute to her relative online. “You’re such an amazing mother and a friend and everything else,” she wrote. “May you rest in peace, baby girl.”
And her sister-in-law Autumn Southard agreed Sharp was sadly missed. “When she met somebody, she loved you like you were already family,” she explained to JDNews.com. “She left a lot of friends and family behind that loved her,” Southard said. “She was definitely taken too soon. So young, so innocent.”
Although tragic, Sharp’s death highlights the importance of wearing seat belts. If her kids had not been properly restrained, it’s possible the crash could have killed all three of them. But, thanks to their mom’s dedication, they’ll now get to grow up, albeit without her there to guide them.