Local News

Roseboro teen survives second fatal crash

Posted December 19, 2012

— 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.

Sites where two teens died in wrecks about 4 miles apart Sites where two teens died in wrecks about 4 miles apart

“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.


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  • aprilpope72 Dec 21, 2012

    It is a SHAME that here at Christmas time anyone can say hurtful and derogatory comments about ANY of these teenagers...your comment proves that YOU DO NOT KNOW THEM...shame on you! SHAME ON YOU!

  • weasel2 Dec 21, 2012

    Sounds like its time NC starts a decent drivers education program that lasts for more then 2 weeks.

  • angelienna Dec 21, 2012

    This young lady has survived two major accidents in just a few months... that tells me that God has a plan for her... I only hope she cherishes life and continues to seek out the purpose for which she seems destined to survive for. It will be hard as survivor's guilt especially in the young can be so difficult. It sounds like she has the heart to do good. Prayers to these families that have suffered losses...

  • SportsLover75 Dec 20, 2012

    May God bless this young girl. She has been through so much in such a short period of time. Prayers for both families that have lost their children in these two accidents. Tomorrow is not promised people. Tell your loved ones that you love them.

  • carrboroyouth Dec 20, 2012

    justdontgetit and bpstation, thank you for showing me that some people still have empathy and compassion for others.

  • bpstation14 Dec 19, 2012

    NCTeacher - how about keeping your mouth shut until you know all the details. I am her manager at Dairy Queen. This child was the most mature, kind, and smart individual one would ever meet. This child never went anywhere without a cellphone. She had the highest caliber of friends, and would never ride with anyone she wouldn't consider to be a driver of excellent caliber. She herself was a great driver. - I would know, i've ridden with her. Have you?

  • justdontgetit Dec 19, 2012

    TAKE HER LICENSE FROM HER. DUH??? zachiarose

    Ok why do you take her license away. Yes she was driving in the first accident but she was the PASSENGER in the second accident. You need to read the story closer next time before you jump to judgement. This is a huge tragedy for this young girl that is barely old enough to be considered an adult and in less that 6 months time she has been involved in 2 seperate accidents and lost 2 friends because of them. She has enough on her plate as well as her mind without you belittling her or judging her abilities to drive.. especially since she was driving in ONLY ONE of the accidents. Neither one of these accidents happened on a major Highway they are actually both what you would call back country roads that anyone could have an accident on. That is why they call them accidents in the first place... because you dont mean for them to happen! Im sure you have NEVER had an accident before have you?

  • zachiarose Dec 19, 2012

    These kids are too young to drive, especially when driving around other kids. Not a very good idea. Sad story, yes..but these kids are so pre-occupied with doing other things (yapping, make-up, texting, phone, etc.), that there is no way possible that they can concentrate while driving in traffic, especially in the holiday season traffic.