In April tornadoes ravaged through Chowan County, NC. According to, a local mother who lost her son in the storms says she is forced to relive that experience because a car dealership ran ads without her permission urging people to donate. She also says she hasn't seen one dime from the dealer.

A parent's worst nightmare is losing a child. When the tornado hit, Ashley Bain tried to protect her infant son Gavin as her house fell around her. When the house came down it pinned them in the wreckage. With no escape, Ashley was "forced to listen to her infant son suffocate and die, while she held him in her arms."

Bain says for six weeks Alliance Nissan in Elizabeth City aired "approximately one thousand" ads, recounting what happened, and urging people to donate. At no point in time did representatives from the dealership contact Ms. Bain to inform her of this fundraising effort. Ashley claims that the dealership kept any money that was donated and that Alliance Nissan never reached out to her to forward any kind of assistance. Her very private and tragic story is part of a public lawsuit against the dealership. Bain's lawyer said -

"The commercials involved were not public service announcements designed to direct community members to the Bain family's private website. The ad very clearly directs viewers to Alliance Nissan's website and its dealership. The ad claims that donations should be made to Alliance Nissan. The ad also mentions the name 'Alliance Nissan' at least seven times. The ad speaks for itself. So does the lawsuit we've filed. Ms. Bain suffered a horrific tragedy, something that is every parent's worst nightmare. And the way Alliance Nissan made use of that tragedy was unethical and illegal,"


An attorney representing the dealership said, Alliance Nissan was not collecting money and did not receive any money directly. It certainly did not 'embezzle' any money."

Ashely's sister has set up a Fundly page for anyone who would like to contribute.


If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at and be sure to include your Kinja handle.