Three die in crashes across county
By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 3, 2010 1:46 PM
Two vehicles were involved in a fatal accident on Wayne Memorial Drive near Tommy's Road late Tuesday afternoon. The driver of late model red Ford Mustang died after colliding with a pickup truck pulling a trailer. The crash caused Wayne Memorial Drive to be closed at Tommy's Road for approximately two hours. Firefighters from Patetown and Saulston responded to the accident.
Three people died in three separate accidents near Goldsboro, Dudley and Faison between 4 and 11 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
The first accident was on Wayne Memorial Drive, north of Tommy's Road, to which authorities responded after an emergency call that came in around 4:10 p.m.
Jeanne B. Eakes, 41, of Club Knolls Road, Mount Olive, died in the crash.
The investigating state Highway Patrol trooper said Ms. Eakes' Ford Mustang crossed the center line on Wayne Memorial Drive, moving into the path of a Ford F-350 truck.
The Ford F-350 was hauling a long trailer filled with aluminum work ladders.
The driver of the truck was not seriously hurt. His name was not available early this morning.
The second accident, on Durham Lake Road in Dudley, took place about 20 minutes after the Wayne Memorial Drive wreck, and involved a drowning after a vehicle overturned in a ditch.
The one-car crash killed Lawrence Gilbert Bell, 36, of Merrywood Drive, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety said.
The initial accident report showed that the vehicle carrying Bell was "traveling around a curve to the right, lost control on the wet pavement, struck a ditch and overturned."
Mar Mac Fire Chief Bill Harrell was at the scene.
"(The) car went into the ditch, and was submerged, about three-fourths of it, anyhow," Harrell said. "One of them (the passengers) was able to keep his head above water, the other one had his head underwater."
The Arr-Mac Water Recovery Team forced both open both doors of the vehicle, the fire chief said.
"I don't know how long they had been under when they called us out," Harrell said. "We figured that they had been underwater for about 10 or 15 minutes.
Rescue personnel initiated CPR on Bell at the scene and he was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, but later died, Harrell said.
The third accident took place on N.C. 403 near North Duplin High School around 11 p.m.
Trooper Devin Rich did not file the accident report on Tuesday evening, and was not available before press time today. It was not known whether the victim was a man or a woman.
Officials with the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety said they would not have access to information about the Duplin accident until this evening.