Local News

Bragg soldier charged with racing, manslaughter in fatal crash

Posted August 2, 2012
Updated August 4, 2012

— A Fort Bragg soldier faces manslaughter charges after a drag race ended in a head-on crash that killed another Bragg soldier and his roommate in July.

Robert Warren Jones Jr., 21, of Lambert St., was charged Thursday with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of prearranged racing. He was released on an unsecured bond.

Police said that Jones was racing Nickolas Hayden, 21, and his passenger, Russell Zachary Snapp, 21, on Morganton Road the afternoon of July 22. Hayden lost control of his 1998 Honda Civic and crashed into a 2011 Hyundai at more than 90 mph.

Hayden, an Army maintenance technician, and Snapp, a Fayetteville native, died. The Hyundai driver, Blaine Hull, 28, and his passenger, Stevie Rivenbark, 25, were seriously injured.

Rivenbark's mother, Sharon, said seeing the car made her surprised that her daughter even survived the wreck.

"Truly, it made me sick to my stomach. I could hardly look at it and was just grateful she was even alive," she said. "It looked like a bomb went off."

Beauty queen's future almost lost in wreck Beauty queen's future almost lost in wreck

Rivenbark's injuries include a broken leg, ribs and lacerated liver. She's had "a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, a lot of crying. A lot of, 'Don't let me die,'" her mother said.

Rivenbark's family is drawing close to help her recovery, which doctors expect will be long.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Rivenbark is a beauty queen, the 2009 Miss Greater Wilmington. Today, she is program director at Cape Fear Valley Health Systems in Fayetteville.

That bright future was almost lost in just moments, her mother said.

"You need to be careful and value your life, because you don't know if you are going to be here in the next five minutes," Sharon Rivenbark said.


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  • sunshine1040 Aug 3, 2012

    Sorry so many supposedly smart educated people had to loose not only a race but a life and jobs. Is,nt there a drag strip just off I95 south oif the airport If not I know there is one on Rockingham where you can play with your toys legally and put fewer lives in danger

  • Half Red Half Blue Aug 3, 2012

    Take your testosterone to a legal drag strip!

  • tward Aug 3, 2012

    I don't fully agree with the charges. Zac was my baby brother and although I didn't meet Jones until the day after the wreck, I know Zac wouldn't want him to go through this, especially considering he already has to live with the image of this day for the rest of his life.

    My thoughts are with Jones, and also with the two recovering from the wreck. I wish a speedy recovery for them.

  • LtDansMagicLegs Aug 3, 2012

    Sad thing is this is a not too unusual occurance down here in ole Fayettenam. The terrible loss of life is uncommon but the recklessness on the road happens moreso than you would expect. Head down any of the main drags (pun intended) on any given afternoon and you'll see impromptu stoplight "races" happening all the time. When I was working on base several years ago it was almost an everyday occurance that there was some sort of accident/collision coming to or from work. I still live in the area now but I try to avoid the Spring Lake/Fayetteville area like the plague. As much as people deride the RDU & RTP commute I'd trade that 10x over for having to brave the roads down here.

  • Moonlight Aug 3, 2012

    @Viewer, Don’t think the others injured were racing…just driving in the opposite direction and were hit head-on. Confusing article.

  • ladyblue Aug 3, 2012

    head-on crash"?? Draw me a picture of this one please.

    if you all put the thinking cap on it's not that hard to figure out.. it is hard to do a head-on collision racing side by side so a third car had to be involved..==== the innocnet ones coming down the road only to meet head on==== a car in their lane beside another one drag racing.

  • ladyblue Aug 3, 2012

    Glass Half Full-exactly.. same way i unerstood the story..friends getting into mischief has caused all 3 ruined lives. 2 gone forever one going to jail--not to mention the devastation of the two innocent drivers hit head on.

  • Viewer Aug 3, 2012

    "head-on crash"?? Draw me a picture of this one please.

  • SFSOLDIER Aug 3, 2012

    Sad, a lot of lives lost and changed forever over this immature act.

  • n ter tained Aug 3, 2012

    Well, you know, less of the story (I think all of three paragraphs) focused on the details of the drivers, and the rest on the girl that was injured. (BTW, I hope she recovers quickly and well.)