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Soldier Charged in Wreck That Killed 3

Posted December 19, 2006

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— A 25-year-old soldier was charged Tuesday in connection with a Monday afternoon wreck that killed three people, police said.

Clayton Morgan, whose address is listed as the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, is charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, police said.

A silver Nissan Pathfinder was traveling northbound on Reilly Road at about 3 p.m. Monday when it slammed into a gold Honda Accord that was stopped at the light at Fillyaw Road, 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 Dodge minivan, police said.

Hyo Kwong Griffin, 48, of 7321 Avalon Drive in Fayetteville, and her 9-year-old son, Joshua, who were in the Accord, died at the scene, police said. The Griffins were on their way to pick up Joshua's basketball uniform at the time of the wreck, friends said.

The motorcyclist, Tom Parent, 48, a Fort Bragg soldier who lived at 966 Kennasaw Drive in Fayetteville, also died at the scene.

Police said speed and inattention were factors in the wreck, although they haven't said how fast the Pathfinder was going. They haven't determined if drugs or alcohol also were involved in the wreck.

The intersection was littered with wreaths and flowers Tuesday as people stopped to pay their respects to the victims.

A couple visiting the scene Tuesday said the Griffin's son attended Ben Martin Elementary School with their son.

"They were in the same grade, same class. We're on our way to school to pick up my son and let him know," Harold Hollander said.

"His mother raised him by herself all these years because she lost his father before he was born," said his wife, Aesook Hollander.

The Hollanders wept quietly as they laid a wreath at the intersection. A group of men from a nearby auto repair shop also paid their respects to the victims Tuesday morning by setting out their own wreath.

"She always believed that she had a mission from God to do God's work," said Yang Camus, a friend of Hyo Griffin. "We don't understand why this thing happened. But we know that God has some plan for each and every one."

Local residents describe the intersection as dangerous and say drivers traveling to and from Fort Bragg are often in a rush.

Morgan was treated at Cape Fear Valley Hospital and released.

The occupants of the Mercury Grand Marquis, John Page Jr., 63, and his wife, Kathryn Page, 60, of 207 Pecan St. in Elizabethtown, didn't require medical treatment.

The driver of the Dodge minivan, Annemarie Street, 60, of 6453 Freeport Road in Fayetteville, didn't require medical treatment, but her passenger, George Durmmond, 33, of 6841 Timbercroft Drive in Fayetteville, was treated at Cape Fear Valley Hospital and released.

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  • whitejeans90 Dec 20, 2006

    I watched the video of this story. I am appalled that WRAL would broadcast a witness interview describing the condition of the child in this accident. Friends and family members might have been watching that broadcast, not knowing that the victim was someone they knew. What a display of discustingly poor taste, and the reporter that decided that bit of information was needed in the broadcast needs to go buy some dignity because they're all out of it.

  • fanzalive Dec 20, 2006

    Something else that needs to be done is that the NC Legislature needs to get on the ball and raise the minimum property damage coverage an individual must carry for insurance. Right nopw it is $25,000 and it should be at least $50,000.

    I myself was recently a victim of a reckless driver on I-440 who was doing 100+ miles an hour. He lost control and took out 5 cars not including his own. He only carried $25,000 coverage and so he is not able to fix all the cars he wrecked. My car still sits in my garage waiting for the insurance companies to "figure out" who is going to pay for the damages!!!

  • HighRiskCO Dec 20, 2006

    People must understand that once a person is behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they are operating an extremely deadly weapon. And until these "Killers" are charged with murder and sentenced 25 years to life, nothing will change.
    Accidents will happen, but if those responsible are not held fully accountable for their actions in cases such as this...innocent people will continue to die at the hands of these killers.
    Driving is a privilege in this country and should be respected as such. Why anyone would risk someones life because they are running "late" is beyond comprehension and means that these "killers" place no value on human life.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Dec 20, 2006

    May God be with the families of ALL that were involved. We would all love to blame someone for the tragedies in life, but it isn't going to help the families heal any faster.

  • finallysingle Dec 20, 2006

    I really don't feel like playing the "blame game" here at Christmas,so I will only say "God have speed on the healing of those left behind".

  • swebb3509 Dec 19, 2006

    Stopping at a red light, then turning is a joke in Fayetteville.
    They just roll through the stop light right in front of you and if you hit them, YOU get the ticket. The police in Fayetteville suck. The could hand out forty tickets an hour for rolling slow downs at red lights on any busy intersection. Right turn on red was a privilage given to prevent people from sitting at a red light when no traffic was coming. Now its, "Let me pull out in front of anyone. They have brakes and will get charged for hitting me in the rear". This wreck has pulled at my heart. I understand he was walking around taking stuff out of his car after the accident. I hope he went over and took a good look at the kid he cut in two. He is already out on bond. I would like to know more about the man on the motorcycle's life. I know he just retired and was ready to live life. Now his life is over because he got in the way of some one in a hurry.

  • brownpainting Dec 19, 2006

    I am sure this guy didn't mean for this to happen. I feel a little sorry for him, but people are in too much of a hurry these days (especially here at Christmas). Everyone needs to slow down and be more aware of their surroundings. My deepest condolences to all families involved.

  • dolphins Dec 19, 2006

    good i am glad because they need to get these crazy idiots of the road

  • OD Norwood Dec 19, 2006

    This intersection has been a problem for years, where's the law enforcement? I was almost hit at this intersection by a driver that decided not wait before making his left turn on to Fillyaw Road. Good time to take a look at banning the use of cell phones while driving unless you have a hands free device. Too many people are multi-tasking while driving, which puts us all in danger.

  • CBUR Broker 1 Dec 19, 2006

    Reilly Rd. is one of the worst roads to be on in the morning and evening in Fayetteville. Most drivers are always in a rush. My children and I were sitting at stop light in May on Reilly Rd and pick up truck plowed in the back of us. I heard the skidding for so long, I had a chance to turn my music down and look around to see who was about to get slammed and it was us. Thank God, we survived. My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims of this horrific accident. May God bless thee and keep thee.