Crash victims' names released
By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on September 20, 2010 1:46 PM
DUDLEY -- State Highway Patrol troopers have identified the four men killed Saturday night in Dudley in a three-vehicle accident.
Officials said Jeremy Elijah Bryant Pate, 20, of Dudley was speeding and attempting to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone when he lost control of the Chrysler Sebring and collided with a red Ford Ranger truck driven by Gordon Lane, 41, of Mount Olive.
Both drivers died in the accident on U.S. Highway 117 South Alternate. Passengers Joseph Lee Carter, 22, and Jerrod Roddick McKiver, 20, both of Dudley, who were riding in the Chrysler Sebring with Pate, died in the crash, according to reports.
Pate, the son of Elijah Bryant "Buddy" Pate of Dudley and Joyce Jones of Mount Olive, is survived by his parents and by four children. Graveside funeral services for Pate are scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Pineview Cemetery near Seven Springs. Funeral arrangements are pending for the other victims.
State Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. Gerald Burton estimated that the vehicle was traveling south between 70-75 miles per hour when it collided with the truck, traveling north, driven by Lane. The posted speed limit on the highway in front of the Tri-County Electric office at 4255 U.S. 117 South Alternate, where the two vehicles collided, is 45 miles per hour.
Pate, Carter and McKiver died upon impact. Lane was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital where he died of his injuries.
The Dodge truck that Pate was attempting to pass at the time of the accident received some damage from flying debris, but the driver was not injured in the wreck. The driver was able to relate the events to officials.
The wreck closed both lanes of U.S. Highway 117 South Alternate for several hours as emergency workers cleared the scene. Firefighters and EMS workers from Dudley and Wayne County responded to the scene along with Wayne County sheriff's deputies and State Highway Patrol troopers.
Results of alcohol and drug testing are pending and should be returned within several weeks, officials said. Trooper Bennie Grady is conducting the investigation.
Pate was cited May 16 by State Highway Patrol Trooper J.T. Creech for failure to wear a seat belt and an unsafe moving violation. He was scheduled to appear in court Nov. 15. An unsafe moving violation is typically "some type of yield violation" or another kind of safe driving violation, State Highway Patrol Sgt. C.J. Owens said.