The April tornado spun across a rural road in Chowan County, tearing apart houses and tearing apart families. Four months later, the scars are still visible in the neighborhood. Even today, some are still rebuilding. For the first time, a mother who lost a toddler is sharing the awful details about how it happened.
When the tornado hit, Ashley Bain shielded her infant Gavin as her house fell around her, pinning them in the wreckage. All alone for several moments, she was "forced to lilsten to her infant son suffocate and die, while she held him in her arms."
This personal moment is now part of a public lawsuit. Ashley says for the next six weeks, Alliance Nissan in Elizabeth City, without contacting her, aired "approximatly one thousand" ads, recounting what happened, and urging people to donate. Her lawyer wrote: "The advertising blitz forced her to relive the terror of Gavin's death over and over."
And worse, she says, any money workers at the dealership collected, they kept for themselves. No one at the dealership would talk about Ashley's accusations today, instead sending our questions to a lawyer. An attorney told NewsChannel 3: "Alliance Nissan was not collecting money and did not receive any money directly. It certainly did not 'embezzle' any money."
Likewise, Ashley's stepfather said no one wanted to talk about the lawsuit. We weren't able to find Ashley today. But in her lawsuit, she said not only did the dealership never pass on any donations, but its commercials were so intrusive that, instead of helping, it added to her pain.