Driver Charged in Crash
Posted August 17, 1997
DURHAM — Having said Thursday that all vehicles involved were driving too fast and following too closely for road conditions, police have ticketed a tractor-trailer driver. His rig was one of 10 vehicles in a fatal crash Thursday afternoon along a construction zone of I-85.
Officials say more charges are expected to be filed in the next few days.
Vincent G. Fennell, 37, of Early Branch, S.C., was charged with failure to slow down to avoid an accident.
He drove a tractor-trailer that hit a Geo Tracker. That driver made it out in relatively good shape.
Fennell said at the time that he could not possibly stop as the accident unfolded up ahead because his rig weighs 44,000 pounds.
A mother and two daughters were killed in the crash. Lavoris Pearson, 36, and her daughters Shaniece and Shavonne died when their car was pinned between two other tractor-trailers. Pearson's husband was driving. He survived, possibly because an airbag deployed.
Seven other people were taken to area hospitals.
The crashes occurred in a construction area with an enforceable speed limit of 55, and a recommended limit of 45 for the road work area. Officials said vehicles routinely exceed both speeds when going through the heavily-traveled area.