Local News

Wife mourns death of Smithfield crash victim

Posted October 22, 2012

— A Smithfield woman who lost her husband of 32 years in a crash Sunday night says she's relying on faith to cope with the tragedy.

"I love the Lord. He's going to carry me through," said Nancy Rose, whose husband Ralph Lee Rose, 84, died in a crash at the intersection of Buffalo Road and U.S. Highway 70 in Johnston County.

Ralph Rose's pickup truck was facing west on Highway 70 when a motorcycle, traveling north on Buffalo Road, crashed into it, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. All three people involved in the crash – Ralph Rose, motorcycle driver Rickey Perry Mooneyhan and motorcycle rider Jennifer Sabato – were killed. 

Troopers said the crash is still under investigation, but it appeared that Ralph Rose failed to yield and that Mooneyhan was speeding.

Wife mourns death of Smithfield crash victim Wife mourns death of Smithfield crash victim

Nancy Rose said Monday that her husband had just dropped off his great-grandson and eaten dinner with family before heading toward home around 7:20 p.m.

Ralph Rose, his wife said, worked for the state for more than three decades before retiring. With his free time, he enjoyed working on race cars.

Neighbors of Mooneyhan and Sabato, who lived together in Selma, said the two were dating and were nice people who enjoyed motorcycles. Sabato leaves behind a young daughter.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Oct 24, 2012

    worked with Mrs. Rose at Walmart... very nice lady.
    Prayers and thoughts to her family.
    and to Colonel_Anges.... families do read the comments, and people need to realize that. they are entitled to opinions, but if you were NOT at the scene when it happened, then all it is is heresay. i had to go thru the same stuff when wral posted a story about my husband when he died.

  • Colonel_Anges Oct 23, 2012

    "At this point it's not really a matter of who's at fault. It's a time to give prayers for all whom have/are affected by this tragedy"
    -Average Everyday-

    I totally agree with you. Three people lost their lives in this horrific ACCIDENT. I hope the families do not read these comments. Some are just ridiculous and immature.

  • albridges206 Oct 23, 2012

    BubbaDukeforPresident....if you were not there stop placing blame. Let the investigators do their jobs. As the Granddaughter of the truck driver & a member of the motorcycle community it is a huge loss for all parties involve. I know the pain the others families are feeling. Having people point fingers & place blame does nothing for the families involved, but make the situation harder. So, please EVERYONE let the investigation run its course & allow the families to take this time to grieve in piece.

  • CharmedLife Oct 23, 2012

    At this point it's not really a matter of who's at fault. It's a time to give prayers for all whom have/are affected by this tragedy.

  • bugaboo8302 Oct 23, 2012

    feistyredhead2001, just where does it say that? I'm reading

    "Troopers said the crash is still under investigation, but it appeared that Ralph Rose failed to yield and that Mooneyham was speeding"

    It does matter because everyone is wanting to place blame on the truck driver. He was not at fault. My parents watched this happen. You're telling me that WRAL posted speed was not a factor when the 3 witnesses told Officers that the cycles WERE speeding? Maybe WRAL should get statements from the winesses themselves. Regardless, I hope everyone will be more careful near cycles and those riding motorcycles will be cautious of everyone else.

  • torchhappysean Oct 23, 2012

    As a fellow motorcylcle rider I can understand the anger people have at this tragedy but I also understand that BOTH drivers were at fault... I knew Ricky and met Jen several times and they were upstanding people... I never met Mr. Rose but he also seemed to be a decent person too... Ricky was speeding and Mr. Rose pulled out in front of him... So the way I see it this was just a tragic event where everyone was at fault, except Jen of course, and it saddens my heart to see things like this happen... People please remember "LOOK TWICE AND SAVE A LIFE!!!!!"

  • feistyredhead2001 Oct 23, 2012

    ok bugaboo8302... you need to do some research.. wral posted at 9:06 am this morning that the motorcyclist was NOT speeding! Really my god... DOES IT MATTER !!!

  • bugaboo8302 Oct 23, 2012

    BubbaDukeforPresident, that is not true. The truck driver did not pull out in front of the motorcycles. The motorcycles were behind my parents as they turned onto Buffalo Rd and the truck had already started turning when he saw my parents were far enough back that he could complete his turn. The 2 motorcycles then went flying by my parents to pass them and unfortunately one hit the truck. They did not pay attention once they prceeded to pass. The 3 witnesses of this accident in vehicles say the motorcycles were going at least 60mph in a 45 zone. This was not the truck drivers fault. If you look at the picture of the truck, it's obvious the motorcycle was speeding.

  • feistyredhead2001 Oct 23, 2012

    As part of the rider community and friends of Rickey and Jens... this loss is so great. I never expected anything less from his brothers.. like the rest of us they loved him and yes, we do take care of our own. No one won here and I for one am grateful to know Rickey had a friend/brother there with him in the end. They will always be remembered, they will always be missed.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 23, 2012

    This man pulled in front of two motorcycles. I've talked with the driver of the other bike who held his friend as he died at the scene. The couple leave an 8-year old daughter, and as I understand, the mother of the woman killed wouldn't have anything to do with her daughter so the little girl has no one. The bike club that Mooneyhan founded has stepped up and is caring for the little girl as they grieve over the death of their president and his girlfriend.

    I don't ride, and I've come close to hitting bikers a couple of times because for some reason there seems to be a blindspot when they are approaching. Plus the size of the bike makes it hard to determine how fast they are coming at you. Having said that, these two bikers were great people, and the organization lives it's motto of loyalty to one another. I admire and respect the way they are taking care of their own. Prayers for all the families and friends.