08/19/12 — Duplin teen dies in accident

View Archive

Duplin teen dies in accident

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 19, 2012 1:50 AM

A 16-year-old Duplin County boy is dead after a Friday morning accident less than a mile from his home.

Four other people were injured, including the driver of the car and his younger brother.

Francisco Zuncin of the Albertson community was pronounced dead at the scene when the car he was a passenger in pulled into the path of a pickup truck shortly after 9:15 a.m. at the intersection of Outlaw's Bridge Road and N.C. 111 just 2.5 miles south of the Wayne County line.

Duplin County Highway Patrol Trooper J.D. Edwards said that a 2002 Toyota Celica driven by Edwin Alvarez, 20, of Albertson was headed west on Outlaw's Bridge Road when it pulled into the path of a 2000 Ford pickup operated by Thomas Thomason of Lucama.

The truck, which was pulling a large, but empty, utility trailer, struck the passenger-side door of the car, Edwards said.

Speed was not a factor in the crash, nor does it appear that alcohol was either, he said.

"I don't know why he (pulled in front of the truck," Edwards said. "I don't know that they saw the truck. One of the boys asked, 'What hit us?'"

Alvarez and two young boys, ages 13 and 14, who were riding in the back seat, were transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital. Alvarez was later airlifted to New Hanover Medical Center in critical condition.

One of the young boys was Alvarez's brother.

Edwards said he did not know if the two younger boys were still hospitalized. Edwards said he was told by the family that one of the teenagers could be released later Friday and that the other might be released after being observed overnight.

Thomason suffered only minor injuries and declined transport, Edwards said.

The Celica was totaled. Damages to the truck were estimated at $2,000.

The investigation is continuing and charges are pending against Alvarez, Edwards said.

According to published reports, Zuncin was a junior at East Duplin High School at Beulaville.

Zuncin, known as "Chico," has eight siblings, and the family cannot afford funeral expenses. A fundraiser for the family held Saturday evening at the school gym reportedly raised more than $8,500 to help the family with the cost of the funeral.