Local News

Seven People Injured In Harnett County Wreck

Posted July 9, 2003

— Seven people received injuries in a traffic accident involving a tractor-trailer, a van and a car Tuesday in western Harnett County.

All were treated at area hospitals and released.

Two passengers in the van, Gloria and Thomas Kelly, were treated at Duke. The other five victims were treated at Central Carolina Hospital.

Among the victims were two people in the car, a 1983 Chevy Celebrity: Charles Lewis Bethea, Jr., the driver, and Mark Baldwin, the lone passenger.

Needing treatment from the van, in addition to the Kellys, were driver Joyce Ann Lite and passenger Charles Lite.

The tractor-trailer driver, identified as Franklin Spencer, also was treated at Central Carolina Hospital.

According to authorities, the accident occurred just before 3 p.m., when the van and car were stopped near Johnsonville at a construction zone on Highway 87 near the Highway 27 overpass.

Investigators said Spencer either ignored the flagman or didn't see him in time and failed to slow down as he approached the construction area.

Spencer's rig reportedly veered off the highway and jackknifed. The trailer swung around and hit the van, knocking it into the passenger car.

Spencer has been charged with failure to reduce speed.

A trooper on the scene said he will consult with the district attorney Wednesday to determine if additional charges are coming.

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