‘God has him’: Mother reflects on life since tragic loss of son in deadly southeast Charlotte crash

CHARLOTTE — A local mother is picking up the pieces after losing her 17-year-old son in a crash on Wednesday afternoon.

Daunte Palmer was a North Mecklenburg High School student on his way home from school when a chain reaction crash on East W.T. Harris Boulevard in southeast Charlotte killed him.

Now, just days later, Palmer’s mother, Tametrice Griffin, is still working through the traumatic loss of her child. She told our education reporter, Jonathan Lowe, that she and her son were close and that Palmer was loving, caring, loving, and respectful with a bright future ahead.

“Daunte and I were close; we stayed in contact; we communicated,” Griffin said. “Of course, you know I’m crying, but then I think to myself; I know he’s at peace; I know God has him; and then I just try to think about all the happy times.”

Normally Palmer checks in with his mother, but on Wednesday he wasn’t home from school at his normal time.

“The hours were getting later and later, and so I was like, Call him, go straight to voicemail. I was like, What is going on?” Griffin said.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, an Infiniti hit a BMW, then the BMW hit Palmer’s Ford Escort, causing him to lose control, and then hit a tree.

“When I saw his car, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm,” Griffin said, “it’s like, my baby was just driving home; he was coming home like he was supposed to, like he was minding his business.”

Griffin said her son was well on his way to a bright, successful future ahead of him. He was set to graduate from North Mecklenburg High School in the spring and was also dual-enrolled at Charlotte’s Aviation Institute of Maintenance.

“I really think he was really headed to success on up,” she said. “I was very proud, and in my heart, I was feeling that he was going to get that certification.”

Palmer would have turned 18 this coming March, and even though his loss is still very raw for his mother, she truly believes he lived a full life before it was taken so soon.

“He took my message well; I said go get it; I said you can do it,” Griffin said. “Think about it; don’t panic; take your time; and you can do it; just encourage your kid.”

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance sent Lowe a statement saying they were ‘deeply saddened to hear about Palmer’s death. They sent their condolences to his family and friends, wishing them peace and healing during this difficult time.

(WATCH BELOW: Lawsuit filed by estate of woman killed in crash with CMPD chase suspect)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.