12/02/09 — Officials: Traffic problems up over weekend

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Officials: Traffic problems up over weekend

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on December 2, 2009 12:15 PM

Minor and serious accidents plagued the holiday weekend, killing one man and injuring others.

On Thanksgiving Day, around 2:40 a.m., Ronald Horner III, 21, of Spotslvania, Va. drove a Saturn car off of Old Mill Road, Highway Patrol First Sergeant Jerry Burton said.

Alcohol played a role in the incident, and the man was not wearing his seatbelt, Burton said.

The car hit a concrete driveway embankment after Horner lost control of his vehicle in the one-vehicle collision, the first sergeant said.

In another major incident Saturday, Tommy Howell, a minister at Goldsboro Worship Center, was taken by medical helicopter to Pitt Memorial Hospital after an accident on U.S. 117 North, authorities said.

Pitt Memorial Hospital spokespeople said this morning that he remains in critical condition.

Yet another accident tied up U.S. 70 for hours between Wayne Memorial Drive and Spence Avenue on Thanksgiving Day, according to Goldsboro police reports.

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, traffic was heavy, the first sergeant said.

"Fortunately, it lightened up, and then Sunday, it was very heavy. It was people traveling to and from their destinations," Burton said.

The first sergeant reported an unusually high number of charges for the holiday weekend.

"We had 15 (driving while impaired charges), 44 seatbelt violations and 136 speeding cases," Burton said. "That's a lot, overall, and we issued over 330 citations for various charges."

"We were just out there trying to slow people down and save lives," Burton said.