Local News

Johnston County teens injured in single-vehicle crash

Posted August 27, 2015
Updated August 28, 2015

— Five Johnston County teenagers are recovering following a single-car crash on Thanksgiving Fire Department Road Thursday afternoon.

According to investigators, the four-door Acura driven by Fermin Rodriguez Jr., 16, of Zebulon, was traveling at 80 mph in a 55-mph zone when Rodriguez entered a curve about a half-mile south of N.C. Highway 42 and lost control of the car.

According to Lt. Jeff Gordon with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the car traveled onto the right shoulder and then into a field, where it rolled over one time. The car then struck a utility pole, which resulted in a passenger in the middle back seat to be ejected from the car.

Daphne Bleser, who lives nearby, said the power went out in her home after the car struck the utility pole.

"All of a sudden, there's a messed up car," Bleser said. "It was demolished. It wasn't pretty."

The passenger who was thrown from the car, Ana Gonzalez, 16, of Selma, was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh, where she was listed in critical condition.

According to investigators, none of the three backseat passengers was wearing seatbelts.

Rodriguez and the other three passengers – Jovanny Vargas, 16, of Selma, Sergio Garcia, 15, of Zebulon, and Nora Garcia Zuniga, 16, of Zebulon – were treated at WakeMed for non-life-threatening injuries.

All five occupants in the vehicle are students at Corinth Holders High School, located just outside of Wendell.

Charges are pending in connection with the collision, said investigators.


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  • Drew Savicki Aug 28, 2015
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    No charges for the driver?

  • Sherrill Craig Aug 28, 2015
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    "And the legislature is saying drivers education is not worth funding??? What's with that???"

    If the driver of the automobile was a licensed driver than I am pretty sure he had Driver's Education....They just didn't listen, and/or follow the rules (law).

  • Sean Creasy Aug 28, 2015
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    Somebody should have explained to him that there is no reset button in real life...

  • Barbara Boltz-Adcock Aug 28, 2015
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    And the legislature is saying drivers education is not worth funding??? What's with that???

  • Reggie Berryman Aug 28, 2015
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    Five teenagers in a car is a recipe for disaster!

  • Mindi Minguez Aug 27, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Seatbelts? How about NOT DRIVING 80 mph on a 2 lane country road??

  • Belle Boyd Aug 27, 2015
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    It is sad that teens think they are immortal. It takes something tragic like this to make them realize they aren't or don't learn from it, then it is too late.

  • Barbara Sossomon Aug 27, 2015
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    Prayers for these young people. Young folks, WEAR YOUR SEATBELT. The life you save, may be your own,