Bond denied for man charged for accident that killed 2 NC girls - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Bond denied for man charged for accident that killed 2 NC girls

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Bond was denied Thursday afternoon for Neil Dejean, the Louisiana man charged with two counts of reckless homicide after a car accident on Highway 17 Business Tuesday night left two North Carolina girls dead and six other people hospitalized.

An Horry County magistrate judge determined 47-year-old Neil Dejean to be flight risk, based on a prior charge for domestic violence in Florida. Dejean will remain in J. Reuben Long Detention Center on two counts of reckless homicide and one charge of open containing of beer or wine in a motor vehicle.

Dejean was the driver of a Mercedes involved a crash with a minivan carrying five people that killed 11-year-old Dakota Shepherd from Timberlake, North Carolina, and her cousin, 9-year-old Skyler Emore. Both were pronounced dead at the scene from internal injuries, Coroner Robert Edge said.

During the bond hearing, the family of the two victims begged the judge not allow Dejean out on bond, saying that the tragic accident has shaken the entire community.

"There's a community in North Carolina, in Person County right now, that is crippled, your honor, because of this incident," said one of the family members. "They don't have the answers. They don't know. All they can ask is why."

Brad Richardson, with the Horry County Solicitor’s Office, argued for either maximum bond or no bond, saying Dejean is dangerous to the community and a flight risk.

Richardson said that when a Highway Patrol trooper visited Dejean in the hospital and told him what happened, Dejean first asked how his car was. Dejean, who was in a wheelchair during the bond hearing, shook his head when he heard this.

Dejean told the judge he was speeding because his foot was jammed under the pedal of his car due to a work-related injury, and he was unable to get down to get it out. He asked the judge for mercy, saying he is a veteran, a good man, and a God-fearing man. He also said his attorney was not able to make it to the bond hearing.

“I have an awesome angel that’s seven years old, I know what these gentleman are going through right now. I don’t know what they’re going through but I can just about imagine," said Dejean to the judge."I’m a Christ giving man. I believe in Christ wholeheartedly. I wish my attorney could be here for me.”

Dejean is originally from Duson, Louisiana, but has a prior charge in Okaloosa County, Florida. Richardson said the Solicitor's Office has no indication that he has made any court appearance on this charge.

In the bond hearing, Richardson talked about a recent event in Dejean's life being a major reason why he is considered a flight risk. Federal court records show Dejean is involved in a $4.6 million dollar settlement with his former employer. 

The two-vehicle accident blocked traffic on Highway 17 Business south near Pirateland Campground Tuesday evening, according to Horry County Coroner Robert Edge and the South Carolina Highway Patrol. 

The crash happened between a red Dodge minivan carrying a family of five, and a black Mercedes car carrying three passengers at about 8 p.m.

The Mercedes was traveling south on Highway 17, and the Dodge minivan was traveling north and turning left onto a private drive when it was hit by the Mercedes, according to Lance Corporal Hannah Wimberly with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The van lost control and struck a parked car on private property.

Related Link: 

Driver charged with 2 counts of reckless homicide in crash that killed 2 NC girls

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