Local News

2 Adults, 1 Child Killed in Multi-Vehicle Wreck

Posted December 18, 2006
Updated December 19, 2006

— Three people were killed Monday afternoon in a second multiple-vehicle wreck near Fort Bragg.

Shortly after 3 p.m., a silver Nissan Pathfinder was traveling northbound on Reilly Road when it drove through a gold Honda Accord that was stopped at the light at Fillyaw Road, Fayetteville police said.

The impact caused the Honda to hit a motorcycle that was turning left onto Reilly Road.

The Pathfinder then went airborne and hit a Mercury Grand Marquis, bounced off and hit a burgundy van.

"I saw a silver SUV going through the air," said witness Kevin Cogburn. "As it was going through the stoplights, it barrel-rolled and then landed up against the little maroon van."

"We saw parts flying everywhere. We just saw a big mess like a big cloud of smoke," said Albert Begley, a worker at a nearby auto dealership and one of the first responders to the scene.

The passengers of the Honda Accord -- a woman and a child -- and the motorcyclist died at the scene, authorities said.

"There was a quilt hanging out of the back of the little gold car," Cogburn said. "I took the quilt and covered up one of the bodies just because it was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life."

The identities of the victims have not been released, but witnesses said the motorcyclist was a 48-year-old retired member of the military.

"I started to undo his jacket," Begley said. "It was tight around his neck, and at that time, we couldn't feel a pulse, so we stopped doing it. We figured he was gone."

Two people inside the van and the driver of the Pathfinder were transported to a local hospital, where there conditions were not immediately known.

Local residents describe the intersection as dangerous and say that drivers traveling to and from Fort Bragg are often in a rush. Investigators are still trying to determine whether speed was a factor in the wreck.

The accident occurred about two hours after a previous wreck in which a dump truck hit a fire truck and grazed two other vehicles on Santa Fe Drive at the All-American Freeway.

That wreck occurred at about 1:15 p.m. when the dump truck, which was exiting the freeway on the southbound exit ramp onto Santa Fe Drive, ran a red light and hit a Fayetteville fire truck, police said.

The truck then grazed a Mercury Sport minivan, which was traveling west, and then hit the left front side of an 18-wheeler, which was traveling east.

Diesel fuel from the tractor-trailer spilled, and one of the vehicles hit a utility pole, which caused a traffic light to sag, Fayetteville police spokeswoman Jamie Smith said.

A battery thrown out of one truck also caught fire. Firefighters were shaken up by the accident but were able to extinguish the fire, she said.

The drivers of the 18-wheeler and dump truck were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. Three firefighters were also transported for observation. The driver of the mini-van and a four-year-old passenger were not hurt.

The wreck also remain under investigation. Names of those involved have not been released.

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • ewingfamxfivee Dec 19, 2006

    As a firefighter and someone who also drives all over Fayetteville with my side buisness I see a whole of things that are unsafe on are roads Running REDLIGHTS, PASSING IN UNSAFE AREAS, TAILGATING and more. I wish that we all would slow down and take a minute and think of others during this time of the year and remeber that the this is the time celibrate are lord and savure instead of tring to kill each other to get the discount or sale... Thank you!!!

  • armysfc72 Dec 19, 2006

    SLOW DOWN! Again this morning, a driver was passing vehicles in the turning lane on Yadkin Road. How far do you really get? Everyone caught up with him at the next red light. If your running late, then set your clock a little earlier. Wouldn't you rather be late, yet arrive alive. Most drivers in the Fayetteville area live, work, shop, and commute in a 20-30 mile radius, so really how much time is being saved by speeding to your destinations? Two major accidents in one day - I really hope this accident wakes up the local authorities to do something.

  • cold hands warm heart Dec 19, 2006

    Everyone seems to be in a hurry to go nowhere. Seems like they have to be just that one more car ahead just to wait in the traffic. Stop and think people that one day you may be in such a hurry you won't make it to your destination. What does this teach our up and coming drivers? Lead by example and slow down. Use your turn signals, thats what they put them on vehicles for!!! I have come close to being hit many times since I moved here. God bless the families of the victims.

  • ECU Alumni 06 Dec 19, 2006

    I am sorry for these families involved. As a resident of Fayetteville for twenty-one out of twenty-six years, I have seen the changes in Fayetteville. I feel that there should be a law against talking on a cell phone while driving. I am tired of people driving dangerous around me and other drivers trying to push us off the road even if we are going the speed limit. Everyone just acts like they are in a big hurry to get somewhere and that just deals with our culture. Every weekend, I have to deal with drunk drivers on the road and people yelling stuff back and forth to each other just to show how cool they are.

  • Fuquay Resident Dec 18, 2006

    If the SUV went "through" the Honda, hit the Grand Marquis then bounced off and hit the van, the guy must have been flying through the intersection. I don't know what the speed limit is there but it's gotta be 35 or 45 and he had to have been doing 60+.

    It's a very sad thing that 3 people were killed and apparenty this guy wasn't hurt very badly. I agree with the comment above, this guy needs to get 3 life sentences or 3 death sentences. Let's let Nifong prosecute and he'll have the guy charged with the earlier dump truck-fire truck accident too.

  • swebb3509 Dec 18, 2006

    Fayetteville is the worse city for drivers. My heart goes out to those killed today and injured by wreckless driving. The city is full of very young drviers and aging military retirees/spouses. So you have wide span of ages and experience. Those with no experience and those who are very cautious. We definitley need more news coverage. I moved here from Greensboro to care for my aging parents and am shocked at the driving habits. The cops drive the same way!! No signals, speeding for no reason, ignoring people breaking the law and on cell phones.

  • jjohnson13 Dec 18, 2006

    It is tragic when any accident occurs. However, it does appear that many or most accidents can be prevented by slowing down, staying off the cell phones, quit applying lipstick, brushing hair, changing music preferences, eating, reading books and dozens of other intra-car activities while driving which can diminish the focus on safety. Others may call these activities multi-tasking. Recently, I came to a four-way stop as did three other drivers. All three others were on cell phones. For a brief moment I felt that I needed to grab mine and call someone. Also, laws are worthless if not enforced. Proper enforcement costs money.

  • condorskii Dec 18, 2006

    I ride a motorcycle too. Way too scary man....Maybe the cell phone (as mentioned by the earlier person) was the idea. I got rear ended by a maniac in a monster truck 3 months ago, talking on the blanky blank cell phone. Totalled my car, almost broke my back. It will be months or years possibly before its all worked out.

    I drive like they do in Germany, and always have. The 'activity' is driving. Nothing else. BTW I am a veteran and do not support the communist socialist way of life, but in this one thing they have it right. If you are using 4 hands to smoke, drink coffee, talk on the cell phone, and slap the kids, which FIFH hand and FIRST BRAIN are you using to drive?????
    I wish americans would wake up and realize the activity is driving. Driving first nothing second.

  • Monkey Love Dec 18, 2006

    Basically, we all need to just pay more attention to the road and not the radio or cell phone or whatever else may distract us from driving. These kinds of accidents can be avoided.

  • bf172 Dec 18, 2006

    I was saddend to hear about the two tragedies that have taken place in our community. I think the solution would be if our law enforcement would focus more on traffic issues in Fay. We have so many people that live here from all over the US, and they each have their own driving styles.Alot of our drivers are inconsiderate, arrogant, and the list goes on.Yet, our law enforcement continues to watch the reckless driving behavior and ignore it. Once, I asked a law enforecement officer why they are so relaxed in patrolling and giving citations for speeding, wreckless driving etc. Let's just say his answer was a political one.My heart and prayers go out to the families affected by this tragedy and I sincerely hope that their loss was not in vain. I hope that someone will listen and address this growing problem in our city.