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Benson couple mourned after fatal head-on collision

Posted September 18, 2014

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— A family in Johnston County is wrestling with the loss of a husband and wife from Benson who were killed Wednesday in a head-on collision.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Troopers say a pickup truck crashed head-on into the couple's truck on N.C. Highway 210 near Benson.

Robert McGee, 81, and his bride of 58 years, Melba McGee, died at the scene.

Both were well-known in the McGee's Crossroads community for making music on Friday nights, and for years, people crossed county lines to go to Beaver Creek Music Hall to hear the couple who lived their songs like a love song.

Kenneth McGee says his brother had a treasured his music – hard country and bluegrass – and had a fondness for cowboy hats, the music of George Jones and shooting a buck.

"The only time he didn't wear a cowboy hat is when he was singing gospel songs and deer hunting," Kenneth McGee said.

"This community has lost two angels, I'll tell you that," said family member Pat Penny. "But they're together now, and that's the way they would have wanted it."

The Highway Patrol isn't sure why the driver, David Michael Walker Jr., 19, of Princeton, crossed the center line, saying that it doesn't appear alcohol or speed were to blame. He was charged with death by motor vehicle and cited for driving left of the center line.

At the scene of the crash Thursday, mourners stopped by with flowers.

Back at the home place, the McGees' family yearned to hear the couple's duet, "I Wouldn't Change A Thing About You."

"That's the only song she would sing with him," Penny said. "You know, where you saw one, you saw the other. They were just the most loving people."

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  • heelhawk Sep 19, 2014

    My heart goes out to the couple who was killed. What a horrible tragedy. As for as why the other man crossed the line, let's not jump to conclusions, like "I say he was texting while driving." He may have been, but he also may have sneezed, he may have been distracted by a bee in the car, blinded by oncoming headlights, hit a pothole, had a mechanical issue with his vehicle..... none the less, it is a tragedy. No need to pile on with speculation.

  • 68_dodge_polara Sep 19, 2014

    I plead for the highway patrol to get off the interstate a little more often and drive North Carolina's two lane winding roads writing tickets for driving left of center. It occurs so often these days with cell phones and now texting an officer could write many tickets a day. It would save lives as it's typically much more dangerous than speeding on an interstate.

  • tierneemalinadeveaux Sep 19, 2014

    "The Highway Patrol isn't sure why the driver, David Michael Walker Jr., 19, of Princeton, crossed the center line, saying that it doesn't appear alcohol or speed were to blame."

    Hmmm...let me see....a teenager behind the wheel in 2014...I say he was texting while driving.