Local News

Authorities Looking For Dodge Caravan Involved In Johnston County Hit-And-Run Accident

Posted July 15, 2002

— A Johnston County woman and her 3-year-old, who died in a hit-and-run accident, were remembered in a funeral service as authorities discovered more clues that may lead them to the driver who hit them.

Family members and friends paid their final respects Monday to 39-year-old Nancy Wood and her 3-year-old son, Robbie, who died in a hit-and-run accident early Saturday morning on Highway 39 in Johnston County.

State troopers said they are learning more about the vehicle that struck them after looking at the broken plastic pieces found at the scene. They said they are looking for a 1991 to 1995 Dodge Caravan. Authorities believe the car is either metallic blue or green with front-end damage to the passenger side.

"It should be obvious that the vehicle hit something if you are meeting the vehicle. At night obviously, there should be a headlight out," Trooper David Finch of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Troopers said they are also asking auto parts dealers and mechanics to keep an eye out for the vehicle.

Authorities suspect the vehicle continued southbound on N.C. 39 in Johnston County after the accident, which happened about 2:40 a.m. on a stretch of road with a 55 mph speed limit.

On Sunday, Wood's daughter, Sheena Ward, was still thinking about the last time she saw her mother and little brother alive. She remembered the last things they said to her, the scream, the impact of the vehicle that hit them right outside her home.

Ward was not yet thinking about the driver who sped away down the dark, rolling highway without stopping.

"Finding who did it is not going to bring my family back," said Ward, 17. "They've got to live with that."

Sitting on the bare mattress that takes up most of her living room, Ward recalled what happened after her mother and brother left Ward's residence early Saturday.

"She hollered through the door, 'I love you.' I said, 'I love you, too. Y'all be careful on the road.'"

Ward had barely lowered her head to the mattress. "I heard her scream 'No!''' Ward said. "When she screamed, I heard a pop.''

Ward ran outside but couldn't see anything. Then she noticed her mother's purse, its contents strewn across the road and mixed with broken pieces of headlight.

She said she never got a glimpse of the vehicle.

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