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Three injured in Johnston County tractor-trailer wreck

Posted May 18, 2013

Traffic Accident (generic)
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— Three people were seriously injured Saturday morning when a tractor trailer collided with an SUV on U.S. 701 South near Marler Road in Johnston County, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Troopers said the tractor-trailer was lawfully passing the SUV in the left lane shortly before 8 a.m. when the SUV simultaneously turned left into a private driveway. 

The two vehicles collided, and two SUV passengers – Tahirra Hargrove, 19, of Newton Grove, and Latrice Johnson, 23, of Smithfield – were ejected and taken to WakeMed. Hargrove is listed in fair condition, while Johnson was treated and released. 

The driver of the SUV, James Newkirk, 65, of Smithfield, was pinned in the vehicle for about 25 minutes. Once he was extricated, he was airlifted to WakeMed. He was listed in serious condition.

The tractor-trailer driver was not injured. 

The collision is still under investigation, but troopers said speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors.

All southbound lanes of U.S. 701 were closed for about two hours while emergency crews were at the scene.

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  • Disabled Vet May 20, 2013

    I know the average speed because I use a calibrated radar gun on a regular basis on 701 as well as other roads.

  • common tater May 20, 2013

    Google street view is so cool. Looks like a narrow 2-lane road with lots of driveways...I don't see how a tractor-trailer could safely pass there...passing zone or not. We really need to stop paying these drivers by the mile. The suv had to slow to a crawl to make the 90 dgree turn...seems this professional driver could have guessed they were turning, signal or not.

  • nannerrngr May 20, 2013

    I'm curious how you know the average speed of a vehicle on 701? I drive that road daily and pass by the scene on a regular basis. There's enough NCSHP on that highway now to regulate the speed. I was coming home yesterday and was going 60 mph, which apparently wasn't fast enough for the Toyota Camry behind me. He learned really quick how to not drive in Johnston County.

  • Obamacare survives May 20, 2013

    Guys, please use your turn signals out there. Thanks.

  • greg69innc May 20, 2013

    For the truck not to have been ticketed so the commercial driver was in the right. I am sorry to see these people injured and yes we all need to take an extra precaution around commercial vehicles.

  • Disabled Vet May 20, 2013

    While alcohol may not have been a factor, I am willing to bet speed was. The average speed a vehicle goes on 701 is 73mph.