06/01/07 — Woman dies in N.C. 111 crash

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Woman dies in N.C. 111 crash

By Lee Williams
Published in News on June 1, 2007 1:46 PM

A Kinston woman was killed and two others were injured Thursday when their car was crushed in an accident with an egg truck on N.C. 111 South near the Duplin County line.

Linda Denise Sutton, 40, of Stroud Avenue, died from injuries she received in the crash near the D.M. Price Store, Trooper J.M. Holloman said.

Ms. Sutton's passengers, Lawanda Sutton, 26, of N.C. 258 South, Kinston and Mary Tilgham, 38, of Stroud Avenue, Kinston, were also injured, but their injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The accident happened just before noon when Ms. Sutton, the driver of a 1993 Geo, pulled into the path of a Case Farms tractor trailer driven by Russell Patrick Chesmore, 37, of N.C. 241, Pink Hill, investigators said.

Chesmore was traveling north on N.C. 111 while Ms. Sutton's vehicle was stopped at a stop sign at Zion Church Road and N.C. 111. Ms. Sutton failed to yield for the oncoming truck and turned left on N.C. 111 North, Holloman said.

Chesmore reportedly swerved to avoid the crash and pulled into the southbound lane of N.C. 111. However, Ms. Sutton then made another left turn into D.M. Price's store and was struck by the tractor-trailer.

Ms. Sutton's vehicle was knocked about 380 feet before coming to rest, Holloman said.

"The car was completely demolished," Holloman said.

Ms. Sutton's passengers managed to get out of the vehicle on their own, however, she remained trapped inside.

Firefighters from the Pricetown, Seven Springs and Albertson volunteer fire departments, Wayne County Emergency Medical Services personnel and the Highway Patrol responded to the scene.

Firefighters worked for over an hour to free Ms. Sutton from the vehicle. Meanwhile, EMS took Ms. Sutton's passengers to Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Traffic was halted on N.C. 111 from Smith Road to Zion Church Road for more than two and a half hours as emergency crews worked to rescue the injured and clean off the highway.

A medical helicopter was dispatched, but did not transport Ms. Sutton, given her medical condition, sources said. She was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where she later was pronounced dead.

In Holloman's line of work, injury crashes are common, but this one hit Holloman hard.

"These ones stick with you," he said. "It was a pretty bad situation."

After speaking to the witnesses, Holloman said he believes Ms. Sutton never saw the tractor-trailer before she was struck. He said she was turning into the D.M. Price store because she was lost and wanted to get directions.

Holloman also credited the driver of the tractor-trailer for his strong attempt to avoid the crash.

"He had 70,000 eggs. He was pretty well loaded down," Holloman said. "He done everything he could to avoid the accident."