Local News

Severity Of Accidents Along Highway 87 Has Increased Since Road Expansion

Posted April 3, 2002

— A state Highway Patrol trooper says the severity of accidents along Highway 87, where two people were killed Monday night, has increased since the highway was expanded from two to four lanes.

The wreck happened around 10:30 p.m. along Highway 87. According to the Highway Patrol, Raymond Becker, 79, and Jennifer Herren, 19, were killed in the wreck.

Trooper Mike Moretz said Becker was driving northbound on Highway 87 and tried to merge into the outside lane. He said Becker sideswiped another vehicle, which spun out of control into the southbound lanes of traffic hitting a third vehicle.

Troopers said the amount of accidents originally went down, but in the past year they have creeped back up. Troopers believe the accidents have also been more severe.

"They have been on the two-lane highway for a period of time coming out of Cumberland and Harnett counties, and I think by the time they are getting to the four-lane highways, they are increasing their speed and it gives them a chance to pass the slower vehicles," state trooper Mike Moretz said.

Construction to widen Highway 87 to Cumberland County is expected to be finished by next summer.

Moretz said both victims were wearing seat belts. The driver of the third vehicle involved was not injured.

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