Local News

Driver, Passenger Flee After Fatal Accident in Chatham County

Posted August 12, 1999

— Law officers are looking for two men who ran from the scene of a fatal accident Thursday evening.

The accident occurred at 5:30 p.m. at the junction of Highway 751 and US 64 in Chatham County.

The victim has been identified as 62-year-old Ray Bass of Durham, the father of eight.

Investigators said a 1985 Chevy dump truck pulling a trailer going east on 64 ran a red light hitting a 1976 Plymouth driven by Bass, who was crossing Highway 751 on a green light, headed north.

Three eyewitnesses said the impact was phenomenal, with the sound of crushing metal such as they had never heard before.

The people in the truck jumped out and ran, once the truck went over the car.

The highway patrol is looking for two men, but the principal suspect is Richard Lee Cross.

Highway crews cleaned up the debris and reset highway signs that were wrenched out of the ground by the impact.

State troopers and Holly Springs police surrounded a house on Main Street Friday afternoon after they received a tip that Cross might be at the house.

However, Cross' relatives said they have not seen him in weeks. The search for the man police say caused the deadly accident may depend on tips from the public. The suspect is not stranger to the law.

"He has had some various scrapes with the law, failing to appear on various traffic citations and that type of thing," says trooper Danny Jenkins.

Bass was headed home from work when the dump truck slammed into his Plymouth. Along with eight children, Bass leaves behind 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"I think it's sad that he wouldn't just stop and realize, 'I've killed someone,' and just takeoff instead of [trying] to help my father, but he didn't do that," says Phyllis Bass, the victim's daughter. "All we want is to just let justice be done."

"We just have continue on with our lives and help mom get through this," says Kenneth Bass, the victim's son, "and hopefully justice will be done this week."

Police says Cross faces multiple charges, including felony death by motor vehicle, driving with a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident and running a red light.


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