“I see all the angels, but where is Jesus?”
Those were the words that 3-year-old Carson said when he drove up on the scene of the mangled Chevrolet Tracker that his father was driving just a few minutes earlier.
Danielle Jacobs said that’s when she knew, before she got out of the car, that her husband was gone.
Nickey Len Jacobs, 37, of Trinity, was a husband, a brother, a father, a coach and a friend who was killed in a fatal wreck in High Point on Feb. 20. Jacobs was traveling on English Road when he was struck by a 1998 Saturn, driven by Delonia Juwanna Slaton of High Point, causing his vehicle to overturn. He died on his birthday.
Danielle, along with Jacobs’ mother, Vader Jacobs, and his two young children, Carson and Jadyn, drove up on the scene after leaving the Busy Bee on English Road.
“I am still in shock right now,” Danielle said. “I’m trying to hold myself together for his kids. I can’t just let myself break down. I have to pull myself together so I can go on for them. I don’t want them to see that I am broken down right now, so I keep going.”
Jacobs leaves behind five children, Courtney, 17, Haley, 13, Natalie, 8, Carson, 3, and one-year-old Jaydn.
Investigators have charged Slaton, 27, of Barker Avenue, with second degree murder, felony hit and run and driving while impaired. She was jailed under bonds totaling more than $1 million. Two others also are charged in the case with attempting to help flee the scene and cover up the drunk driving.
The family remembers Jacobs as a family man, the life of the party and, overall, just a big kid.
“He was a great dad. His children were his life,” said his little sister, Dawn. “He was very family oriented, and not just his kids but his whole family. It was never a shock for him to want all of us piled into our mom’s and daddy’s house for Sunday dinner.”
His big sister, Tonya Johnston, agrees.
“When his oldest, Courtney, was born in 1995, at that point is when his life went from being just about Nickey to being about his children,” Johnston said. “From that point on, his life was his children, and anything they needed he provided for them.”
Jacobs was very involved in the Archdale-Trinity youth sports when he was younger, whether it was baseball, basketball or football. When he turned 18, he began coaching in the same leagues.
“He impacted each and every life that he came in contact with,” Dawn said. “Every child that he has coached took away something from him being there. He had the patience of a saint. The kids were his passion.”
According to the family, it was those same kids that came out to the funeral home to pay their respects to Coach Jacobs. An estimated 600 attended the service.
“There was one girl that came by, Victoria Butler, who is in college now. She said had she not played for Nickey, she would not have the passion for basketball and softball that she has now,” Johnson said.
The community has rallied around the family in their time of grief. There are two funds that have been set up for the family, one at High Point Bank and the other by Jacobs’ employer, Natuzzi Americas, at Wells Fargo. Jacobs was the sole bread winner for the family.
“Nickey wanted all his kids to succeed in life and make something of themselves,” Danielle said. “He wanted them to be able to go to college to better themselves and to get good jobs. That is what those funds are for. So these kids can go to college and make a life for themselves. That was his big thing. He wanted his kids to graduate and to go to college. He wanted his kids to not have to struggle to get where he had gotten.”
The family said even though the days have passed, they are still struggling to pick up the pieces, but they don’t think that will come until after justice is served.
“Right now, we don’t have any peace,” Dawn said. “We buried my brother the other day, and we still don’t have any peace because of all of the legal issues involved.”
Danielle agrees with Dawn about there not being any peace for the family.
“When my kids go to bed at night, their crying because they don’t have a daddy anymore,” Danielle said. “That’s one thing that I want her (Slaton) to know. That she is the one responsible for those five kids crying every night. That she took, not from me, his mother or his sister’s, but from those kids.”
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Nickey Jacobs Fund
The family requests memorial contributions be made to:
The Nickey Jacobs Children’s Fund, c/o High Point Bank -
1813 Westchester Drive
High Point, NC 27262
Natuzzi Americas also has established The Nickey Jacobs Memorial Fund, account number 8711916869. Contributions to this fund can be made at any local branch of Wells Fargo.