Local News

High-Speed Getaway Leads To 11-Year-Old's Death, Police Say

Posted August 8, 2005

— Editor's note: A story on the accident incorrectly named the driver in this accident as Kenneth Marlboro. His name is Kenneth Euell.

A fight in a parking lot followed by a high-speed getaway led to a car accident that killed an 11-year-old boy Saturday morning in Smithfield, police said.

Police said 11-year-old Craig Euell was killed when the van he was traveling in slammed into several horse trailers. Another child riding in the van was seriously injured, and the van’s driver -- 43-year-old Kenneth Euell -- also was taken to the hospital.

Police said Kenneth Euell was traveling with a group from Florida when a fight broke out in a parking lot at a gas station near I-95 in Johnston County.

Peggy Spivey, the manager of the gas station, said she was working behind the counter when Kenneth Euell started fighting with another man in the group.

"That's when I got on the phone and called the law," Spivey said.

When police arrived to the scene at about 6:30 a.m., Kenneth Euell pushed a woman and then took off with the woman's two children in a van, police reported.

"Oh, he was flying," Spivey said. "There was a red truck coming that way, and I don't know how he missed it but he did. But he was gone."

A trooper with the N.C. Highway Patrol clocked Kenneth Euell traveling 106 miles per hour through downtown Smithfield, where the speed limit was 25, police said.

Police then discovered that the van had flipped on Highway 70 Business, near Wilson Smith Road, and slammed into four horse trailers at a horse trailer dealership in Smithfield. Police said Kenneth Euell lost control of the vehicle, and they had not chased him.

"It looked like he jumped the fence and hit the first horse trailer and pushed it into the next one before it landed and all kinds of parts hit the next two horse trailers," Stacey Whitley, owner of the dealership, said.

Police said 11-year-old Craig Euell died at the scene.

Kenneth Euell and the other child are in serious condition at UNC Hospitals.

Investigators have not revealed the relationship between the driver and the woman at the gas station or the children in the van.

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