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Girl, 8, among five killed on icy NC roads

Posted December 17, 2010

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— An 8-year-old Sampson County girl was among five people killed on icy roads Thursday, authorities confirmed Friday morning.

State troopers said that Kimberly Johnson, 37, of Garland, lost control of a 1995 Nissan sedan on an ice-covered bridge along Hell Town Road, near the Sampson-Bladen county line, around 9 a.m. The Nissan ran off the shoulder and overturned.

Johnson's daughter, Gabriel, was ejected from the back seat, troopers said. She died of her injuries.

Johnson and her 10-year-old daughter Brittany were treated for minor injuries at Sampson Regional Hospital. Brittany was also in the back seat.

It appears that Gabriel was not wearing a seat belt, while Johnson and Brittany were, troopers said. Charges are pending.

A winter storm spread snow and freezing rain across central and eastern North Carolina Thursday morning, causing numerous wrecks.

In Fayetteville, Larry Raines, 50, of Sanford, died on his way home from work at a Goodyear plant Thursday morning. Authorities said his Corvette was hit head-on by a truck whose driver, Israel Beltran, 39, was trying to recover from hitting black ice on Elliott Bridge Road. Charges are pending.

In Duplin County, Michael Fillmore Waller, 65, of Deep Run, died in a similar collision on N.C. Highway 11, near Pink Hill.

Guss Bullard, 73, of Mount Zion Church Road in Maxton, died on N.C. Highway 71 in Robeson County. Troopers said Bullard, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from his truck when it slid and flipped after hitting a patch of ice. No one else was in the truck.

State troopers said that they responded to 270 wrecks in Wake and Johnston counties by Thursday night.

Among those they assisted were two colleagues. John Graven, 52, and Kathryn Wall, 32, both civilian employees of the state Highway Patrol, were injured when their SUV hit a patch of ice Thursday afternoon on Garner Road in Raleigh. It slid off the road and into a ditch.

Graven was in critical condition Friday at UNC Hospitals. Wall was in good condition at WakeMed. 

A highway patrol spokesman said three others who were in the car with Graven and Wall were uninjured. 

Raleigh police said they handled another 100 wrecks by late afternoon – double the usual number. Officers also helped about 40 stranded motorists.

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  • Dec 27, 2010

    "Among those they assisted were two colleagues. John Graven, 52, and Kathryn Wall, 32, both civilian employees of the state Highway Patrol, were injured when their SUV hit a patch of ice Thursday afternoon on Garner Road in Raleigh. It slid off the road and into a ditch.

    Graven was in critical condition Friday at UNC Hospitals. Wall was in good condition at WakeMed.

    A highway patrol spokesman said three others who were in the car with Graven and Wall were uninjured."

    WHAT IS THE HIGHWAY PATROL HIDING...It was a highway patrolmen driving and they were coming back from a party...I am sick of the politics when it comes to their own. Tell this story WRAL as its not hard to figure out...the HP gets on tv and say, "click it or ticket".."dont drive if you dont have to" and then they hide their own mistakes. We want the truth!

  • RB-1 Dec 17, 2010

    Anyway, bottom line is - if you can't WALK on it, you shouldn't try DRIVING on it.

  • RB-1 Dec 17, 2010

    anne53ozzy - "One of the problems in this area that I have incountered is that if one person is able to come into work, the others are expected to do so and are not allowed any financial compensation for missing work. This is wrong."

    It IS wrong.

    When I lived in Atlanta, I lived well north of the city and got snow when those in town and south of the city may not have. There was this one witch I worked with that use to say she doubted I had snow, that I probably just wanted to lay out of work.

    After hearing she had said that, I had pictures which we had taken developed, took them to the office and put them on the bulletin board there for all to see, including the witch.

    I'd like to say it stopped her gossiping, but she was just a troublemaker at heart.

    She ended up getting demoted and being moved under the supervision of a strong female who kept her well in check. Then she resigned and went back to what she said was her calling - as an elementary school teacher. Can you imagine!?!

  • RB-1 Dec 17, 2010

    "It appears that Gabriel was not wearing a seat belt..."

    Why in the world not.

    In truth, the mother may not have known the child didn't have the belt on. We had one little one that was crafty about that, and it was scary. But this child was old enough to know better.

    Praying for the family. I cannot even imagine what the holidays will be like for them this year, and in the future.

  • shortcake53 Dec 17, 2010

    My deepest sympathy to this child and her family. God bless them all and help them through this horrible tragedy.

  • 00100111 Dec 17, 2010

    "One of the problems in this area that I have incountered is that if one person is able to come into work, the others are expected to do so and are not allowed any financial compensation for missing work. This is wrong.
    anne53ozzy"

    I agree. Both the storm yesterday and the storms last winter my company had the same recording on the inclement weather line. "All normal schedules". Of course upper management didn't come in and called it "Working from home", but if the manufacturing folks didn't show up they got docked in pay.

    No job is worth risking your life to go in. If you have PTO, take it. If you don't, use your best judgement and be careful.

  • Mustange Dec 17, 2010

    That brine is really a joke need to go back to sand and salt. Oh yea i forgot this states broke no momey.

  • ThePhwner Dec 17, 2010

    Maybe if NCDOT would get over the notion that this brine actually does anything, we could get some real treatment options. Northern states deal with this every year. Spraying salt water 36 hours before a storm does nothing but make people think the roads are drivable.

  • pdjac1900 Dec 17, 2010

    I had the pleasure of working with Larry and his twin, Barry, some years ago and I can truly say that he was one of the most beautiful spirits that God allowed me to meet. He comes from a wonderful family. I pray that the Lord strenghthens them as they go through this horrific lost.

  • anne53ozzy Dec 17, 2010

    One of the problems in this area that I have incountered is that if one person is able to come into work, the others are expected to do so and are not allowed any financial compensation for missing work. This is wrong.

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