Local News

Deadly Accident Raises Concerns About Cumberland County Highway

Posted August 23, 2000

— Tuesday's fatal accident on Highway 13 was not the first crash on the Cumberland County road, but people living there want it to be the last.

After 70 years of living off of Highway 13, Vallie McMillan says she is afraid to leave her house because of cars and trucks that speed down the road.

"You try to turn in your driveway, you have people blowing at you, right on your bumper because you're not moving fast enough," she says.

For many drivers, the highway is a shortcut between Fayetteville and Newton Grove. The speed limit ranges between 45 and 55 miles per hour.

But McMillan says she has seen tractor-trailers barrel through at speeds as high as 75 miles per hour.

McMillan thinks speeding may have caused the accident that killed her friend, Lucy Coleman, Tuesday afternoon. The 70-year-old Wade resident died when a tour bus collided with her car.

For tobacco farmer Stanley Williams, the speeders on Highway 13 also hit close to home.

"I've seen right many wrecks on this curve here," he says. "I've had two tobacco barns hit with cars."

McMillan hopes Tuesday's deadly accident will serve as a wake-up call for drivers to slow down.

"They're always in a hurry. I don't think anything is as important as a person's life," she says.

AHighway Patroltrooper says he writes an average of 20 tickets per week on Highway 13. So far, there have been 16 accidents this year on Highway 13. Tuesday's wreck was the first deadly crash.

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