Local News

High school junior dies when SUV slams into Walmart

Posted June 4, 2010
Updated June 6, 2010

— A Triton High School junior died and another student was injured Friday morning after their SUV slammed into a Walmart store in Dunn, police said.

Police said Ashley Moore, 16, was killed in the crash, authorities said. The SUV driver, Triton High senior Dillon Tart, 18, was airlifted to WakeMed for treatment.  He was discharged from the hospital Sunday.

Ashley Moore, Dillon Tart Speeding SUV flips in Walmart lot, killing teen

Witnesses told police that the teens were arguing in the SUV as they left the Murphy Gas station in the Walmart parking lot. The SUV accelerated and clipped two cars before flipping several times and hitting the front of the store.

"It sounded like a bomb had gone off. I heard glass breaking," said Ron Robinson, who was inside the store at the time.

Robinson said he immediately ran outside to help the teens trapped in the SUV.

"We got the door almost opened. We tried to keep (the boy's) neck stabilized. The girl, we couldn't get to her until they cut off the roof," he said. "I didn't think of anyone around me but those two people in the vehicle."

Sammi Locklear, the manager of the Murphy Gas station, said she heard Moore screaming as the SUV sped off across the parking lot.

"I thought a child was being abducted ... the screaming that I heard," Locklear said. "All I saw was the truck flipping in mid-air and then the impact of the building."

No one was in either of the vehicles in the parking lot that were hit, police said.

Sky 5 video of Dunn Walmart wreck Sky 5 video of Dunn Walmart wreck

"It's just a miracle no one else was hit," said Capt. Jimmy Pope, of the Dunn Police Department. "We are extremely fortunate. This is a crowded Walmart."

The front of the Walmart, at 590 E. Jackson Blvd., was damaged, but the store remained open.

Police said they were investigating the case as a domestic situation or a medical condition as the cause of the wreck.

Investigators with the state Highway Patrol were trying to reconstruct the wreck to determine how fast the SUV was going and to determine if the SUV had any mechanical defect. They planned to use video footage from Walmart security cameras to aid in the reconstruction.

Grief counselors were at Triton High Friday, and officials said they would be there next week as well.

In the school's 2010 yearbook, Tart wrote that he was leaving his seat at Triton High to his great friend, Ashley.

Senior Jonathan Ennis said he had known Tart since the sixth grade.

"I talked to him on MySpace before this crash. We were supposed to hang out after school," a shaken Ennis said. "It just lets you know you are not promised a next day."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 9, 2010

    rescuefan, if it is appropriate to make comments espousing gods and angels and prayers...is it not equally appropriate to make comments to doing the opposite? Why?

    If you think this accident is a sad time for humanity, imagine how people who value rational thought & logic feel when people ignore these aspects and, instead, look to the invisible & paranormal. Can you not see that stopping a thinking mind is also a tragedy that requires comment?

  • What a nut Jun 4, 2010

    Best post Ive seen all day jlee!!!!

  • jlee Jun 4, 2010

    It does not matter one way or the other what was going on..the end result is a young life is gone and there is a family and friends that have to sort it out and try to go on the best way they can...My thoughts and prayers go out to Ashley and Dillion's family..I hope in the days to come you find comfort among each other...God Bless you all..

  • mbg Jun 4, 2010

    To both families...you are all in my prayers! To everyone else...keep your negative comments to yourself!

  • yagottabekiddin Jun 4, 2010

    Regardless of the collision causes two families have to deal with great loss and the young man's life will be forever changed. Let the authorities determine what really happened, let the families console eachother and grieve in peace. To the family members and friends of GOD'S child taken home so soon, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • gcannon Jun 4, 2010

    I feel so sorry for both families! My prayers are with them.

  • pss2 Jun 4, 2010

    teddybear9115 I totally agree with your post. People need to look in the mirror and open the closet and look at their skeletons. No one is perfect and judge not; lest you be judged. Ignorance is the most negative trait anyone could have. My prayers to both families.

  • pgonz62 Jun 4, 2010

    My prayers ut to both families and the young man. They all have a long road to go. They need your prayers, not showing your ignorance in their time of need.

  • teddybear9115 Jun 4, 2010

    I think the best thing for everyone to do is keep your negative oppions to yourself. If this was your young daughter or son you wouldnt want rumors going around about your child. No one knows the exact story but the two teens in the car. I know both of them they go to my school and are wonderful people. Its sad to have lost but it isnt helping the situation to get on here telling things you have no clue about. Put yourself in his situation knowing he has to live with the fact that someone he loved has died. The only thing left to do is pray for the families and for dillion to pull through.

  • Kbo Jun 4, 2010

    holdeng- but if I jump in a lions cage and get eaten, it's still preventable, as are many deaths. Sometimes people do things they know they shouldn't and it causes their death. I don't like the "you will go when it's your time" attitude because often I hear it as justification to not take care of people's health and to do stupid stuff. Make no mistake about it, our actions do have consequences, and sometimes, the consequence is death. That is not to say that there aren't some deaths completely out of our control, but not all of them are.