Local News

One killed, several injured in minivan accident

Posted July 21, 2010

— One person was killed and five other family members were injured Wednesday when their minivan pulled in front of a tractor-trailer in Duplin County, the state Highway Patrol reported.

The Virginia family was returning from a trip to Carolina Beach when the wreck occurred.

The minivan, driven by John Snipes, of Harrisonburg, Va., was traveling on West Trade Road in the small town of Calypso and was trying to cross U.S. Highway 117 when it was struck by an 18-wheel hog truck, Highway Patrol Sgt, Will Thurston said.

The minivan was carrying four adults and three children.

Dennis Knupp was killed. His wife, Heather Knupp, was listed in serious condition at WakeMed in Raleigh. Their three children and her parents were taken by ambulance to area hospitals, where they were in good condition, the Highway Patrol said.

Father killed in ride home from beach Father killed in ride home from beach

No charges are expected to be filed against the trucker driver, Donte Peterson, Thurston said. Charges against Snipe are pending.

The intersection where the wreck occurred has a flashing light and has been the scene of eight other wrecks, one of which was fatal, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation records.

The DOT added rumble strips and a stop sign to improve safety, Thurston said.

A spokesman said it plans to investigate Wednesday's crash and also study the intersection further.

"With the death that's been here, it most definitely needs to be looked at (again,) said J. D. Pate, whose mother and aunt were killed in a fatal wreck in the intersection. "Somehow, somebody needs to take some action to make some kind of change to try and save some lives."


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  • katmprice Jul 22, 2010

    Please think about what you say...remember, family and friends of those involved are reading and grieving.

  • aforte0024 Jul 21, 2010

    My prayers are with the family, and for the people on here who always have such negative statements or thoughts; keep them to yourself!! If you have nothing better to do...read a book on how to have positive outlooks! You may become a better person!

  • md2clmb Jul 21, 2010

    I worked with him for 5 1/2 years..One of the best friends that I ever had...Loving father..Loving friend...and Forever will miss him. For all the negative comments I have read below, now is not the time to be stating negative thoughts. This is for friends and family who need our closure and prayers during this tragic time.

  • oleguy Jul 21, 2010

    You can bet the DMV boys have been all over the truck, the driver and the crash site. If any thing had been out of place he the truck driver would get a ticket

  • UPTOP Jul 21, 2010

    my prayers go out to the family !

  • beckyriedel Jul 21, 2010

    thurt- They are from Harrisonburg.

  • lindabradshaw13109 Jul 21, 2010

    To the family and friends, our prayers are with each of you. This will stay with me all my life. I was able to pray with the grandmother. God bless.

  • thurt Jul 21, 2010

    I have friends and family in Carolina Beach right now...can you tell me where in virginia this family is from? I'm rather concerned here...

  • lindabradshaw13109 Jul 21, 2010

    I was there. This was an accident. Before we point fingers, we should all think about how many close calls we have had. Sometimes things happen. This was the most tragic accident I have ever seen. This family and the trucker have had the most devasting experience ever Instead of pointing the finger, start praying! The children's lost thier father and had to see that..had to see thier mother trapped in what was suppose to be a minivan. This was horrible and tragic...,Do Not put anything negative about any of the parties involved.....just pray.

  • legionmtl Jul 21, 2010

    I turned to this site because my friends are hours away from me and i cannot help them. my friends are in a strange hospital praying for the life of their daughter, mother and sister. the driver of the van is as responsible as they get, by the way he's a minister. i am not blaming anyone for anything. so please pray for them no one was meant harm. my love and prayers are with them here in va.