Local News

Couple Killed in Second Fatal Crash in a Week on I-95 in Lumberton

Posted January 20, 1998

— Two people died Wednesday in the second accident in a week in an Interstate 95 construction zone near Lumberton.

It happened at about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon on southbound I-95 at Exit 17 (Highway 72 and Route 711).

Officials said a northbound tractor-trailer hit a retaining wall, swerved across the median and hit a southbound vehicle head-on, killing both of the people in the car. Killed were 63-year-old Conrad Morency and his 62-year-old wife, Mary, from Huntington, NY. They were headed to South Carolina to visit relatives.

The truck driver, Edward Youmons from Statesboro, GA, was injured, and was taken to Southeast Regional Medical Center in Lumberton. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Youmons was in fair condition. His truck overturned, spilling its cargo.

Traffic routed around the accident scene for several hours.

Last Friday, two people were killed in a chain-reaction pile-up just three-fourths of a mile from the site of Wednesday's accident. The Friday wreck involved eight vehicles in all.

There have been numerous wrecks in the five-mile stretch since work on the safety-improvement project began in August. This is the seventh so far this month.

N.C. Highway Patrol First Sergeant Randy Hammonds says that the Jersey walls, those concrete barriers along the median of the interstate, are designed to protect both motorists and construction workers.

Charges are pending against Youmons, are expected to be filed Thursday. The North Carolina Highway Patrol says speed was a factor in Wednesday's crash.

The NC Department of Transportation has an action plan in the works for that stretch of road. They say some corrective measures have already been taken, and that others will be in the works within the next few days.

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