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Authorities say driver was speeding before fatal fiery wreck

Posted July 9, 2012

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— The driver of a car that crashed and erupted into a ball of flames early Sunday in northern Wake County was speeding before the fatal wreck, authorities said Monday.

Three people were killed when the 2005 Toyota Scion crashed on Old Weaver Trail Road. Authorities are still trying to positively identify them through medical records.

A preliminary investigation by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol determined that the Scion was traveling at 65 to 70 mph when it went off the right side of the road in a slight curve to the left. The posted speed limit for that stretch of Old Weaver Trail Road is 45 mph, authorities said.

The Scion hit a tree and burst into flames, trapping the driver and two passengers, authorities said.

The Highway Patrol is awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if alcohol also was a factor in the crash. A completed crash report isn't expected until later this week, they said.

Stella Reason on Sunday identified the driver as her nephew, Martin Kokus, of Rougemont.


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  • aj919 Jul 11, 2012

    Martin Kokus was my fiance. He was an amazing person and this is so heart breaking. Regardless of whether or not he was speeding or driving recklessly doesn't matter. It's still horrible and they didn't deserve this. They were all good people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but please have some respect. His family reads these articles.

  • wral suks bauls Jul 9, 2012

    The other 2 passengers were Marissa Blanks and Tyler Duncan

  • kermit60 Jul 9, 2012

    The truth sometimes hurts but it is still the truth. However, this type event seems to happen on a rgular basis so I don't think blasting information to the public keeps anyone from doing it.

  • Skywatch_NC Jul 9, 2012

    Prayers and thoughts with the Kokus family and with the families of the other deceased individuals.

  • wardonpatrol Jul 9, 2012

    Prayers for all of the families left behind to cope with this. I am fully aware that the speed this young man was traveling would become public knowledge eventually. However, I think it is none of anyones business how fast he was traveling at this time. Reports like this cause the family more grief in knowing that the public is aware of this fact. My wish is that WRAL and ALL news agencies would not print weither speed or alcohol was involved. It is another piece of information that the family has to deal with and they should not be subjected to the thoughtless comments made like the ones below.

    God Bless the families.

  • btneast Jul 9, 2012

    I am always amazed at some of the heartless comments people make on here!!!

    You shouldn't be amazed......it's an open forum, folks are entitiled to express themselves. This isn't a place that family members should venture, just for that reason. Nothing said here that you wouldn't hear around a watercooler at work or a break room conversation. If this was the condolence page for a funeral home, that would be different. The best way to stem heartless or crude comments is to ignore them. Responding to them just gets them the attention they are looking for.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Jul 9, 2012

    70MPH in a 45MPH zone.

    WOW! how does one expect to live doing speed like that and not obeying the speed signs. Parents tonight talk to your driving teens if you want to see them this weekend. Just saying.......

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Jul 9, 2012

    I am always amazed at some of the heartless comments people make on here!!!

    Truth hurts. He was speeding and not obeying the highways signs. May others learn from this. Wonder if he would be here today if he was driving the speed limit given? Something for you to think about.

  • mamak81 Jul 9, 2012

    I am always amazed at some of the heartless comments people make on here!!! Yes, these young people may have been speeding and out a little later than they should have been, but that doesn't mean they deserved to die. Everyone makes mistakes when driving from time to time. Whether that mistake be speeding, talking on your cellphone, texting, looking at your children in the backseat. It only takes one time and unfortunately these and many others don't get the chance to learn from their mistakes!! I pray for these 3 families from my town as they are all having a rough time right now. Just remember this could be your child, sibling, etc. Have a little compassion!!

  • LocalYokel Jul 9, 2012

    The driver was speeding according to the authorities, 70MPH in a 45MPH zone. The driver chose to speed and that's why we don't call this an "accident". We all understand the consequences of driving badly. The article clearly describes what happened as a "wreck".

    I feel sorry for the emergency personnel that to respond to this wreck and clean up the mess. It must have been horrific.