Roseboro teen survives second fatal crash
Posted December 19, 2012
Roseboro, N.C. — A Sampson County teen has survived two fatal crashes in the past month, but the deaths of her friends have hit her hard.
Bethany Pilkington, 18, was behind the wheel of a Jeep on Nov. 16 when it ran off Mintz Road near N.C. Highway 411, south of Roseboro. The Jeep hit a ditch, slammed into a tree and overturned, killing 16-year-old passenger Ronald Lucas.
On Monday, Pilkington was riding in a Nissan Altima that crossed the center of Boykin Bridge Road near Hobbs Road – about 4 miles from the first crash site – and again hit a ditch ans a tree. Driver Elizabeth Barefoot, 18, died in the crash.
Pilkington, who was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and reckless driving in the crash that killed Lucas, was listed in fair condition Wednesday at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
“She’s struggling. She’s down a lot,” Bryan Jackson, the youth pastor at Mintz Baptist Church, said of Pilkington. "She definitely needs prayer. The (Barefoot) family needs prayer during this time and support, and they're getting that."
Barefoot also attended Jackson's church, and he recalled her as a smart, giving person.
"She took the Lord's command about going and sharing his love with others," Jackson said. "She impacted so many lives. She did more in her young life than some people living 70 years."
On a church mission trip to help needy families in Tennessee, Barefoot reached out to an elderly man going through a hard time, he said.
“(She was) just pouring love into him," he said.
“Beth was about everybody else,” said Howard Smith, who plans to marry her mother, Regina Barefoot, on Jan. 5. “Beth got it, I guess is how I look at it. Beth was a child of God.”
Barefoot was at the top of her class, attending the early college program at Sampson Community College with plans to become a children's counselor. She was prom queen who worked at a Dairy Queen in Clinton. On Wednesday, the marquee there said, "Heaven Gained An Angel. Love You Beth."
"She didn't take herself too seriously, but she did it all with class," Jackson said.
Her family said she was on her way home after shopping for Christmas presents when she crashed.
State Highway Patrol troopers said speed was a factor in the crash and noted that both Barefoot and Pilkington were wearing seat belts.
"Beth did so much good, right up to the last day of her life," Smith said.
"I don't have an answer of why God would take a young lady so young whenever she's got so much life ahead of her, but we're all appointed a time," Jackson said.