Local News

Driver Killed, 2 Injured, When Truck Crashes Into Harnett County Home

Posted April 26, 2004

— The driver of a truck was killed and his two passengers injured after he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a home Sunday.

The driver of the truck was identified as John Wesley Coats, 27, of Linden, N.C.

The accident occurred about 2 a.m. on Woodwind Drive in the Tradewind subdivision in southern Harnett County.

Investigators said acohol, drugs, failure to stop for a stop sign and speeding all were contributing factors. They also said that before crashing into the house, Coats' vehicle went through two fences, a boat and a tree.

Coats reportedly ran a stop sign travelin about 70 mph, hit a ditch, crashed through a fence into the subdivision and then crashed through a fence behind the residence.

Coats' passengers were identified as Joel Lay and McVeigh Heaster, both of Spring Lake. Lay is in good condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center; Heaster was discharged later Sunday morning.

Lay and Heaster told police the three of them had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at the time of the wreck.

Investigators said no one in the house was injured. Homeowner, Shannon McBee, said he is fed up with what has become a recurring event.

The wreck reportedly marked the 12th time someone has crashed a vehicle through the fence to the subdivision. It was the seventh time someone has crashed through the fence behind McBee's residence -- and was the most serious accident of them all.

McBee said 12 vehicles have crashed into his neighbor's yard; seven made it through his own fence. He said there was even a night when not one, not two, but three drivers ran the stop sign and plowed into his yard.

"We have a trend here that needs to stop before either of my sons die," McBee said.

McBee said the impact of Sunday's crash shook the whole house. He jumped out of bed to check on his two sons, one of whom is just 12 years old.

"One was sleeping on the couch, thank goodness," McBee said, "cause it went through his bedroom."

McBee said that after hitting the fence and boat, Coats' truck actually flipped sideways through the air, landed, flipped one more time and lodged itself inside the house.

As the truck crashed through the boat, it tossed part of the boat's engine over the house and into a neighbor's yard.

"That's about 15 to 20 pounds of steel," McBee said.

McBee said he wants the Department of Transportation to put up flashing lights for the stop sign and barriers to protect his backyard. He said he he asked the DOT for help after earlier wrecks, but nothing was done.

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