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Wrong-way driver causes double fatal wreck in Sanford

Posted July 9, 2011
Updated July 10, 2011

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— A 63-year-old Wake Forest woman drove the wrong way on U.S. Highway 1 in Sanford Saturday afternoon and struck a SUV head-on, killing herself and a 46-year-old father.

State troopers said that Joyce Lorraine Tubbs was unfamiliar with the area. She merged onto U.S. 1 from an exit ramp and started driving north in the southbound lanes shortly before 3 p.m. near the intersection with 15/501.

Her 2005 GMC Envoy, going 65 mph, hit a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban traveling at 50 mph, troopers said. One of the vehicles – witnesses said it was the Suburban – overturned and then erupted in flames.

Tubbs and the Suburban driver, David Earl Spears, of Rockingham, died at the scene.

Spears' wife and 13-year-old son, who were passengers in the Suburban, were treated and released from Central Carolina Hospital.

Troopers said the wreck is still under investigation, but they believe it happened simply because Tubbs was unfamiliar with the area. They don't believe alcohol was a factor.

Southbound lanes of U.S. 1 were closed for about two hours after the wreck.

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  • sarahsoandso Jul 12, 2011

    ambergail1: I couldn't agree more. Word.

  • irishale Jul 11, 2011

    There's got to be more to this story... "unfamiliar with the area" just don't add up.

  • Skywatch_NC Jul 11, 2011

    Prayers and thoughts with the deceased woman's and man's families. Also, how would authorities really know if the female driver was unfamiliar with the area if she was deceased and couldn't be questioned? And if she was unfamiliar with the area ...aren't most folks able to read and decipher traffic signs?

  • Flyswatter Jul 11, 2011

    Spike strips at the end of exit ramps would stop wrong way drivers pretty quickly...

  • klink Jul 11, 2011

    I wouldn't consider 63 elderly

  • FromClayton Jul 11, 2011

    we are so hard on our teenage drivers because they cause so many accidents. I think we need to be a little harder on our elderly drivers too. Make them re-take drivers licenes tests more often. Pull them off the road when they can not drive anymore. and for everyone who is about to say "well how would you feel if someone told you you could not drive anymore" the answer is going to always be "better than if I killed myself and others because I should have been told I could not drive anymore." Tougher rules would save lives here. Let's get on it!