Fatal Moore collision latest wrong-way wreck on US 1
Posted January 23, 2014
Southern Pines, N.C. — The head-on collision late Wednesday that killed two drivers is fourth fatal wreck involving drivers heading the wrong way on U.S. Highway 1 between Southern Pines and Sanford in the last six years, according to authorities.
A Toyota SUV driven by Terrell Abbott, 36, of Austin, Texas, was southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 1 north of Southern Pines at about 10:45 p.m. when it slammed into a Toyota sedan driven by Jasmine Wicker, 20, of Sanford, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.
The vehicles burst into flames following the crash, forcing troopers to close the highway in both directions for three hours.
"All her friends, her best friends, y'all got to hold on and stay strong for me," Wicker's mother, Shonda Moncrease, said Thursday.
Wicker was driving home from work when she was killed, her family said.
"“She was just a kind, sweet girl," said Wicker's grandmother, Marcelene McLean. "The whole family is trying to figure out why, but we have no answers."
Troopers said they also have no answers either regarding where Abbott got on the highway or why was driving in the wrong direction.
"As far as alcohol use or anything else, we don't know yet," First Sgt. Eric Ritter said.
Between 2008 and 2011, three wrong-way collisions on U.S. 1 near Sanford resulted in deaths.
In November, a Vass police officer used his car to stop a driver heading north on U.S. 1 in the southbound lanes a couple of miles from where Wednesday's crash occurred. Both the officer and the other driver survived. Investigators have said they believe the other driver had a medical condition.
A spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said that, for every fatal crash that doesn't involve impaired drivers or excessive speed, traffic engineers examine the stretch of highway where the crash occurred to determine if better signage, guardrails or other safety improvements are needed.
"Do Not Enter" and "Wrong Way" signs are already posted along U.S. 1 near the site of Wednesday night's crash.
"My troopers take all of these personally. We don’t want anybody to die on the highway,” Ritter said.