07/05/09 — Weekend trip ends with fatal accident

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Weekend trip ends with fatal accident

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 5, 2009 9:11 AM

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Goldsboro Police Capt. Mike West investigates the scene of a fatal accident involving a Mazda pickup truck and a Greyhound bus on U.S. Highway 70 East in Goldsboro on Saturday afternoon.

A 62-year-old male is dead after his Mazda pickup truck was struck by a Greyhound bus on U.S. 70 East, just west of Goldsboro.

Goldsboro police Capt. Mike West said the pickup truck was turning left off of Interstate 795 onto U.S. 70 East when he was struck by a Greyhound bus that had run the stoplight.

Catherine Lytch, 60, of Sumter, S.C., driver of the bus, has been charged with a stoplight violation and with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

"A Greyhound bus traveling east on (U.S.) 70 -- West Grantham Street -- failed to stop at a red light and struck the driver's side of a Mazda pickup that had just come off of (795) and was attempting to turn left," West said.

He added that Lytch apparently "tried to stop, but couldn't stop in time," and that the Mazda was struck "right in the driver's door."

Of the 26 passengers on the bus, he said that two of them were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital "for observation," but that they were treated and released.

The rest of the passengers were taken to the Greyhound terminal in Goldsboro where they departed to their various destinations.

The name of the driver of the pickup truck was not released, pending notification of next-of-kin.

"We have been unable to reach the next-of-kin," West said.

He would only say that the victim was from the western part of the state.

Also responding to the scene were the Goldsboro Fire Department, Wayne County Emergency Medical Services and the Highway Patrol.

Goldsboro police Officer Jay Holland was the investigating officer.

West explained that Goldsboro police inspected the traffic signal and found it to be in proper working condition, and that Highway Patrol troopers conducted a safety inspection of the bus and "to (his) knowledge did find anything."

It was, West said Saturday evening, the only fatality around Goldsboro that he was aware of.

Highway Patrol Trooper J.M. Holloman also said it was the worst accident he knew of Saturday afternoon, but that they had otherwise had a steady stream of calls.

"It's been a lot of everything -- a lot of ATVs on the roadway, a lot of speeders," he said. "As far as the county, that I'm aware of, that's the most serious accident that happened today."

He added that during the day there hadn't been much of a problem with drunk drivers, but acknowledged that could change during the evening and night.