Local News

Franklinton woman dies in I-540 East wreck

Posted December 9, 2010
Updated December 10, 2010

— A Franklinton woman died in a wreck on Interstate 540 in Wake County that temporarily shut down all eastbound lanes and partially blocked westbound lanes Thursday morning.

Krystal Jeanette Strother, 28, lost control of her 2003 Honda and over-corrected, causing her car to swerve to the left, go underneath the median cables and into the eastbound lanes, according to the wreck report.

Michael Scott Jones, 43, of Alexander, was traveling east and crashed into Strother's car, causing her car to rotate counterclockwise. Another driver traveling east, Gregory Alex Bellinger, 25, of Morrisville, then drove off the road to the right.

Police said multiple people were injured in the wreck near Globe Road shortly before 8 a.m.

wreck 540 Franklinton woman dies in I-540 East wreck

Talking to 911 dispatchers, a man on the scene described the wreck as "huge."

"There's stuff all over the road," the caller said. 

The caller said one of the vehicles was smoking and a woman was unconscious in her vehicle. 

"She's not breathing," he tells the 911 operator. "She seems to be trapped in the car."

All lanes of I-540 were reopened to traffic about five hours after the wreck.


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  • harlieus982 Dec 13, 2010

    Krystal was an amazing person. I can only wish the ones talking bad about her could have met her and then they would see how wrong they are. God has a plan and a purpose. Krystal was a safe driver. Accidents happen and this was part of Gods plan to take her home. As said at her funeral..."God is a collector and he came and collected what was precious to him" I thank God everyday that I had Krystal in my life. Pointing fingers is not going to solve anything. I pray that God opens everyones eyes to what has happen and that we all can learn something from this accident. Two other people got to go home again. Two other people got to tell the ones they love that they love them. Two other people will get to continue living their lives...Krystal won't. Krystal won't never be able to get married or have kids, or hold her mom and dad ever again remember that when you are being harsh. But Krystal did go home and is lucky because she is sitting at the feet of God now. The bible says

  • christinahlegrand Dec 13, 2010

    Very sad. I drive this road everyday and each day I drive in fear. People drive like maniacs with no regard for anyone else on the road or just driving along in their own little world. Speeding, tailgaiting, improper lane changing, and aggressive drivers are a daily occurance around here. I have seen so many close calls and have had a few myself from people changing lanes with no signal or not paying attention. I saw one lady on 540 recently PLUCKING HER EYEBROWS while driving. I am NOT joking. I moved here from LA and feel a lot less safe on the roads here than I ever did there. There is no enforcement of the speed limit here and people drive like they are playing a video game. There are REAL people on the road with families and kids they would like to get home to. PLEASE think about that while driving from now on! Getting there 2 or 3 minutes faster, is not going to make a big difference in your life. Someone NEVER getting home is much worse!!

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Dec 13, 2010

    I spent Saturday at the funeral for Krystal, it may have been the saddest thing I've ever seen. The initial reports say that she was actually travelling slightly below the speed limit....so speed was not the cause, the car also had over 160,000 miles on it, so she was a VERY experienced driver with no history of any kind of reckless driving...bottom line, this was a tragedy that just may not have been avoidable, right here at Christmas. I can tell you, if you have loved ones in your life, NEVER take that for granted because any instant that person could be taken away from you.

  • mysavior85 Dec 13, 2010


  • clickhere Dec 10, 2010

    although talking on the phone is currently not against the law, losing the control of your vehicle is against the law. Those of you siding with Krystal, how would you feel as the parents of 25 yo Gregory or the spouse of Michael? Don't you care about their pain and suffering? Sure this may have been a medical emergency or maybe someone cut her off, but . . . . I've got a 28 yo neice in Indy, if this was her I'd be be out there immediately to be with her mother, my sister. And if she was one of the victims, I'd be there too, and I can tell you my first thought of the person who caused this accident would not be forgiving. Maybe later, but not at first. The question is, do you want to act resposibly behind the wheel and maybe avoid a situation like this, or do you want to just feel sorry for everyone and let it go? This is a good opportunity for a lesson, like when they put a wrecked vehicle in front of a high school. Learn from it.

  • nmcgrath440 Dec 10, 2010

    Who is open to the thought of a speed camera in the area of this wreck? For the betterment of our city. Please give me your thoughts.

    My heart goes out to the family.

  • rsearhart Dec 10, 2010

    The correct version of events goes as follows: Krystal was on the phone with her mother as she was driving to work. In the middle of the conversation there was a silence that came over the line which was soon following by the screeching of tires and a crash. My aunt being worried, because of what she heard, called my uncle who was also en route to work. My uncle was heading on I-540 W when he saw the wreck on I-540 East. Upon driving up the median to the wreck he was given the news that his ONLY child was involved in the accident and had died. My Aunt's brother who was also on the way to work had to pass this accident in which his niece was involved. Honestly as it stands we dont know what happened between the conversation and the actual crash. But ask yourselves dont you find it weird there was just silence? No screams? Not even a yell? I personally know within myself that she must have had something of a medical nature occur and right now she is having an autopsy performed upon her.

  • gbrogden Dec 10, 2010

    Well said purpleheart. We all make mistakes while driving some are just luckier than others. Just because you may not speak on the phone while driving doesn't mean you've never looked down and realized you're over the speed limit, or way to into a song. We are all guilty of this in some way. No parent should have to go through this type of pain. I pray that God will be with them now, and comfort them in their time of grief.

  • rsearhart Dec 10, 2010

    Krystal Strother was my cousin. Although many of you accuse her of wreckless driving and inappropriate use of cellular privileges I personally can attest to the fact that she was one of the safest drivers I have met. So before you jump to conclusions and display your ignorance get the facts please. That goes out to godnessgracious, iworkandpaytaxes and ****edoff1983. It is not illegal to talk on the phone and even when Krystal used a cellular device she always made sure to pay attention to the road and she would put her phone down if necessary.

  • purpleheart Dec 10, 2010

    Some people truly amaze me to say the least! Those who have rude comments apparently do not have children of your own and must not be very close to your parents! I can tell you Krystal is a sweet, loving, outgoing, family oriented person and would have NEVER intentionally hurt anyone. The things ppl say on here make me sick knowing how Krystal is. And to the comment from ****edoff1983 you should be ashamed of yourself! Her Mom should have never had to hear the death of her child, nor her Dad have to find his daughter in her condition; however ACCIDENTS happen everyday. This saddens me! Kystal was truly a good girl! We have all made honest mistakes, and I'll be the 1st to say I will talk to my parents no matter where...PPL keep in mind..NONE OF US ARE PROMISED TOMORROW!!! Prayers to Krystal's family and friends and to all the other involved in this horrible ACCIDENT:(