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Officials: Wake Forest High teacher killed in Capital Boulevard wreck

Posted March 22
Updated March 23

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— A Wake Forest High School English teacher was identified as the woman killed in a four-vehicle wreck on Capital Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded around 4:15 p.m. to the rear-end collision. Investigators said Donald Wayne Caulder, 29, of Laurinburg, was traveling north on Capital Boulevard in a 2004 Freightliner dump truck towing a Bobcat when he rear-ended a 2004 Toyota Sienna.

The Toyota was being driven by Michelle Simone Barlow, 42, of Wake Forest, officials said. Barlow died in the crash, and investigators believed that Barlow was either stopped or slowing at the time of the accident.

After being rear-ended, Barlow's minivan was pushed into the back of a 2011 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Marvin Douglas Erb, 49, of Danville, Virginia. Erb's tractor-trailer then rear-ended a Honda passenger vehicle.

Teachers at the high school read a statement to students, and grief counselors were made available to students and staff.

"(Michelle Barlow) was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed by her students and the staff here at Wake Forest," the statement said. "Our thoughts go out to her friends and family."

Both Caulder and Erb were transported to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Honda was not injured.

9 Comments

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  • Mike McAteer Mar 23, 2016
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    Jonathan and Brian - I love right down the street from this section of Capital, and travel it every day around the time of this accident on my way to get my daughter from school. Traffic is always backed up through there, it wasn't a matter of him suddenly encountering a red light. And where it happened, she couldn't have just "turned in front of him", this was in the left lane where there's no place to turn. For him to have done that much damage he had to have been going fast. I only hope that it wasn't from a lack of attention on his part, and that it was some kind of mechanical failure he had no control over. Otherwise, this was just pure negligence on the part of the dump truck driver.

  • Tron Carter Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Did you SEE the pictures of her van? This wasn't a matter of her swerving in front of him and leaving him less room to stop. If her van wasn't there the dump truck would have obliterated the back of the 18-wheeler because he was traveling way too fast and evidently not paying attention.

  • Sara Hauser Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    read the article Mr. Murphy- the officials believe she was either stopped or slowing at the time she was hit. How dare you!!

  • Spaine Stephens Mar 23, 2016
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    Brian Murphy, you're a little quick to assign blame to the deceased woman. Where does it say she "turned too fast" in front of him? It said she was stopped or slowing. He might not have been paying attention and failed to brake. We don't know. It's hurtful to speculate either way, especially when she is not able to defend herself.

  • Marcia Maloney Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    People drive terrible around here-they either weave in and out of lanes, drive too close, drive too fast, on their cellphones texting, putting on makeup, dancing in their seats to music, using no blinkers. It sounds like she had turned too fast in front of the truck with speed - he couldn't slow down in time. Very terrible. So sad. People have to make right judgments on their driving skills. Capital Boulevard is always a headache in the morning & 5:00 traffic. People need to be more cautious and respect others who travel the road.

  • John Johnson Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    Most People Drive Like in A Hurry to Go No Where.. And Usually on a cell phone, Eating, Moving to the Music. Bigger the Vehicle the Closer they Get (Bumper) Just Not Driving.. This is Sad..

  • Sara Hauser Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    people follow way too closely-if you've every been rear-ended, it is something you don't soon forget. Such a tragic event and loss of life.

  • Stacie Hagwood Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    This is tragic, and a reminder to everyone to make sure that you have a healthy following distance, and that you leave a healthy space between you and the car stopped in front of you. Would that have prevented this tragedy? I don't know, but it might have. And watch your rear-view mirror!

  • Johnathan Gault Mar 23, 2016
    user avatar

    This is sad. As you crest that hill, the stop light is immediate. if you are unfamiliar with the area, and have a heavy load, it can be challenging to stop. Prayers to the family.