Local News

17-year-old seriously hurt in Johnston crash

Posted December 29, 2013
Updated December 30, 2013

A 17-year-old girl was injured in a wreck along N.C. Highway 39 near Kenly on Dec. 29, 2013. (Beau Minnick/WRAL)

— A 17-year-old girl suffered a serious head injury after she crashed her vehicle into a tree on a Johnston County highway Sunday night.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Jamie Upchurch of Zebulon was heading home from a friend's house about 9:45 p.m. when the crash happened.

Upchurch was traveling north on N.C. Highway 39, near Creech Church Road, near Kenly when she went off the road, over-corrected, crossed the center line and hit a tree.

She was taken to WakeMed in Raleigh with head and other injuries. Troopers said she was put into a medically induced coma. She was listed in critical condition Monday.

Troopers said alcohol, texting or excessive speeding were not factors in the crash. However, the driver's inexperience likely contributed to the crash.


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  • 678devilish Dec 31, 2013

    alcohol, texting or excessive speeding were not factors in the crash.

    Good to hear that was not the cause. Pray for her and all.

  • Love my boys Dec 30, 2013

    I live very close to the accident scene and had just gotten home 20 minutes before the crash. My husband was one of the first on the scene. Prayers for the young lady, her family and friends.

  • dejr8875 Dec 30, 2013

    I live in Johnston County, and can honestly say deer are heavily populated in the rural areas. My husband, teen driver and myself have had more than one deer cross in front of us. My aunt hit one on Cleveland Rd, close to where I live, and totaled her car. I wouldn't doubt one bit that one crossed in front of her, and had no time to react trying to avoid hitting it. However, no one will know unit the young lady (yes, I prefer to say it that way out of respect) recovers.

  • dbgoodyear2010 Dec 30, 2013

    hey obamacare, it said speeding, texting, and alcohol were NOT factors

  • heobaker Dec 30, 2013

    Hopes of a quick and full recovery go out to her. Only she knows what happened, most likely a deer or something and a lack of experience was the cause.

  • E-6USMC Dec 30, 2013

    There could have been the case of deer crossing her path as well. That is a scary thing when travelling those rural roads, whether it be day or/and especially at night. Hopefully the Good Lord will spare her life so that she can continue on with her dreams and goals as well as this family.

  • prayerhelps Dec 30, 2013

    Prayers out to her and the family.

  • justabumer Dec 30, 2013

    It seems that there are an unusual number of Johnston County teens involved in serious traffic accidents. This has been the case for a number of years. I wonder why.

  • justcommonsense Dec 30, 2013

    I stand corrected...indeed a young lady. WRAL did not proofread/edit well either "Troopers said he was put into a medically induced coma." But still me error for just that one piece sticking in my head.

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Dec 30, 2013

    justcommonense, it's actually a female. Though they do write "he" in the next to last paragraph. Hopefully, they will fix that soon.