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Two killed, five injured in wreck on I-95 South in Smithfield

Posted March 26
Updated March 27

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— Two people were killed and five others were injured early Wednesday in a head-on collision on Interstate 95 South in Smithfield, state troopers said.

Troopers said a Chevrolet Avalanche traveling northbound on I-95 crossed the median about 3 a.m. and hit a southbound Dodge Caravan near U.S. Highway 70 Business. The minivan traveled off the roadway and struck several trees.

The driver of the minivan, Michael Brennan, 32, of West Islip, N.Y., and a backseat passenger, Mark Klein, 35, of Surprise, Ariz., were killed. A front seat passenger, Kevin Klare Hickey, 40, of Titusville, Fla., was taken to WakeMed with minor injuries.

A 2-year-old and a woman were ejected from the Avalanche in the wreck, and the child was airlifted from the scene.

Three other passengers in the Avalanche were taken to WakeMed with serious injuries, and a fourth was unhurt. All the passengers in the Avalanche were from Kissimmee, Fla.

No details about the cause of the wreck have been released, but investigators said speed and alcohol were not factors.

The southbound lanes reopened at about 5:45 a.m after being closed for nearly three hours.

27 Comments

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  • frosty Mar 26, 4:03 p.m.

    An Avalanche is a tall vehicle, with the cruise control set about 70mph so it would not slow down when it ran off the side of the road it is quite capable of going over the median barrier depending on how it hit and if it bounced before it hit.

  • Damien Thorned Mar 26, 2:49 p.m.

    My thoughts are with the victims and their families...what a tragedy. Even amidst the unfounded... View More

    — Posted by EricaSliver

    Yes, shame on some posters for trying to understand what happened and how. I mean, it is not like we might learn something from it and prevent it from happening to us in the future is it? Or even start a conversation with the people that can fix the issues so that things like this cannot happen again.

    It is sad that people lost their life. It is sadder that there are safeguards in place to try to prevent vehicles from crossing into oncoming traffic and that they failed. The smart thing to do know is figure out how they failed and do what is needed to prevent any more loss of life. Wouldn't you agree?

  • Damien Thorned Mar 26, 2:39 p.m.

    There is a barrier on I-95 throughout Johnston County. But lets not blame it on the driver at fault.

    — Posted by farm

    There does not appear to be a barrier in these photos. Not saying there is not, however judging... View More

    — Posted by Damien Thorned

    You are correct Kikinc, there is a metal fence type barrier on a median in this area. Odd that wral notes in their video it is a chain. But then again they have never really been known to get their facts correct. It would seem that hitting the median first may have given enough lift to the vehicle to allow it to go over the barrier and into oncoming traffic. The pictures were very deceiving, but you can see the fence in the background of them.

  • EricaSliver Mar 26, 2:05 p.m.

    My thoughts are with the victims and their families...what a tragedy. Even amidst the unfounded speculations of some of the posters, the fact still remains that people were injured and two lost their lives...it is very sad indeed.

  • Obamacare returns again Mar 26, 1:22 p.m.

    One thing we do know, if there was a barrier in the median to prevent accidents of this kind, it... View More

    — Posted by 1jalapeno

    Do you have any idea how costly that would be? Where is this money coming from?

  • 1jalapeno Mar 26, 1:14 p.m.

    One thing we do know, if there was a barrier in the median to prevent accidents of this kind, it wasn't effective, was it? I can't believe we can't do better!

  • elkerster Mar 26, 12:47 p.m.

    How can the 2 year old be ejected? Not in a car seat? :( So senseless. Praying for the families.

    — Posted by smartmomma

    Though that may be the case it is probably best not to pass judgment until more facts are known. Could have possible been in a seat but the belt wasn't tight enough. Still senseless but who knows what happened.

  • smartmomma Mar 26, 12:15 p.m.

    How can the 2 year old be ejected? Not in a car seat? :( So senseless. Praying for the families.

  • Obamacare returns again Mar 26, 12:08 p.m.

    I just don't feel it's safe to have young children on the roadways at that hour, espcecially when the drunks and sleepy drivers are all using the same roads during the overnight hours.

  • kikinc Mar 26, 10:46 a.m.

    3 am and people are driving around with a 2 year old in the vehicle?

    — Posted by Obamacare returns again

    When I was younger, my parents would always drive overnight when we would go on vacation. My siblings and I would sleep the entire time, making the drive much more enjoyable for my parents. As for my parents, they would frequently switch drivers so that they remained alert.

    We can speculate all we want, but we really don't know if it was a sleepy driver. I know they've said that alcohol wasn't a factor, but how about distracted driving? Texting and driving, and someone dropped their phone? A medical emergency and the driver had a heart attack, stroke, diabetic black out, seizure, etc at the wheel?

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