Speed possible reason for fatal crash
By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 18, 2009 2:00 AM
A Sampson County teenager was killed Saturday morning when he lost control of the 2008 Nissan Altima he was driving, about eight miles west of Mount Olive on N.C. 55. A passenger was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released. State Highway Patrol troopers estimated the vehicle was traveling about 100 mph at the time of the wreck.
One Sampson County teenager is dead after a fatal single-vehicle wreck on N.C. 55 outside of Mount Olive early Saturday morning.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday, emergency personnel responded to a report of an accident on N.C. 55 about eight miles west of Mount Olive.
When they arrived, Zachary Bryan Howell, 19, Hobbton Highway, Clinton, was dead on the scene. A second teen, Brandon Weston Joobhall, Sharecake Road, Clinton, was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released.
Trooper R.T. Edwards explained that the vehicle, a 2008 Nissan Altima, was traveling east toward the town when Howell, the driver, lost control.
Edwards said it appeared as though Howell "ran off the right side, hit a ditch bank, struck a utility pole and flipped end over end five times."
The vehicle came to a rest on its wheels facing west.
"Speed was a factor. They were running a 100 (mph) or better. A witness said they passed him earlier like he was standing still," Edwards said. "I think he came out of the curve a little too hot and realized they were losing it. He almost went left of center."
He said it did not appear as though alcohol was a factor, but would not comment on any other potential reason for the high speeds.
He added that it was his understanding they were headed to a friend's home at the time of the accident.
Also investigating the scene was Trooper C. Cook. Responding were Jordan's Chapel and Grantham Fire Departments and Wayne County EMS.
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