09/12/07 — Three men killed in Duplin wreck identified

View Archive

Three men killed in Duplin wreck identified

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on September 12, 2007 1:46 PM

A single vehicle accident that resulted in the deaths of three men in Duplin County Monday is still under investigation authorities say.

So far, State Trooper A.B. Duff said, no charges have been filed in the wreck that occurred at about 6:45 p.m. at the intersection of N.C. 111 and N.C. 903 near Piney Grove Church Road in Albertson.

He explained that the pickup truck, which was carrying eight passengers -- four in the front, four in the bed -- was traveling north on N.C. 111 when it veered off the right side of the road, traveled over a small ditch and ran into several small trees before hitting a small shed-like building.

The men were headed home from work.

"They were coming home. They were doing masonry work in Beulaville and were traveling back toward Wilson, going home," Duff said.

And while they are still unsure as to what exactly caused the accident, officials do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were involved.

"The accident is still under investigation," Duff said. "No charges have been filed."

All four men riding in the bed of the truck were ejected from the vehicle.

"They were all lying beside the truck at its final resting position," he said.

Winslow Hardy, 51, of Sharpsburg, Levy Martel Allen, 33, of Wilson, and Eric Maurice Alston, 46, also of Wilson, all died at the scene. All were riding in the back of the truck.

Also riding in the back was Reginald Atkinson, 42, of Wilson. He was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital where he remains in good condition.

Of the four in the front, Vernon Snow, 36, of Wilson, also was airlifted to Pitt, where he was treated and released. The other two passengers, Bobby Pearce, 49, and Ricky Randall Edwards, 44, both of Wilson, were uninjured. Driver George Allen Williams, 47, of Statonsburg, was taken to Duplin General Hospital where he was treated and released.

Despite the safety risks of riding in the bed of a pickup truck, Duff explained that there is no law against it for adults.

"In a county with a town with a population over 3,500, no one under the age of 12 can ride in the back of a truck. But that only applies to children and doesn't apply to Duplin," he said. "It's not illegal, but it is unsafe.

"If they wouldn't have been in the back of the truck ... The people in the front are fine."