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Wrong-way driver causes fatal wreck on I-95 near Dunn

Posted December 13, 2011

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— A man driving the wrong way down Interstate 95 in Johnston County Tuesday was killed when he crashed into another car under the Interstate 40 bridge near Dunn, troopers said.

Walter Dorsey, 74, of Johnsonville, S.C., died in an ambulance at the scene.

The driver of the other car, 25-year-old Deirdre Adams, of Fayetteville, was taken to Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. She was treated and released.

Troopers say they got a call about a car driving south in the northbound lanes of traffic shortly before 4:45 p.m. Two minutes later, before troopers got to the scene to investigate, dispatchers received a call about the wreck.

There are guardrails separating the northbound and southbound lanes of traffic on that stretch of the highway, troopers said, and no witnesses saw how Dorsey crossed over to the wrong side. 


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  • livinon Dec 15, 2011

    At least in our family, 74 isn't that old. I had a great uncle who drove (safely) until his mid nineties. He did limit himself to in-town driving at about ninety, though, because he didn't want to deal with high speeds. In fact, several of my family members have driven well into their late eighties and early nineties without incident.

    While ability does decline with age, the rate of decline is so varied that You simply can't say that a particular age is unsafe. It would probably make more sense to test reflex reactions and to screen for chronic issues that tend to impair reflex ability or mental acuity.

  • robsarge Dec 14, 2011

    I think WRAL needs to send a news crew over to this area and investigate these exits....DOT has a problem and needs to correct it!

  • robsarge Dec 14, 2011

    Prayers to all those involved...DOT needs to look at all the exits around Benson & Dunn, it is EASY to get on the wrong side of a divided highway at all these exits. The exits have north and south bound traffic entering the side roads along I-95...Its EASY for someone to get confused here, I use exit 75 every day and have seen many cars confused here! Try Google map and look at these exits, they need to separate the exits from I95 & the (frontage) roads, both north & southbound traffic use the exit!

  • sinenomine Dec 14, 2011

    I fully support more frequent driver testing, not just for older people but for everybody. I would personally be pleased to have to be re-licensed every year or two, as the case may be, if doing so would contribute to a safer road system.

    Full disclosure - I am what many posters would no-doubt consider "elderly", or close to it. Been driving since 1964. In that time I have had no chargeable accidents and two moving violations (one a 43 in a 35, the other exceeding posted limit) the most recent of which was in 1977.

  • maduda Dec 14, 2011

    I renew my feelings that the DMV and DOT need to get together and MANDATE annual retesting for those considered senior citizens. They need to be road-tested (especially around metropolae), vision tested, and required to turn in their physical license if they fail either of the exams. The examiner should also have to make an objective determination if the person can adequately see out of their vehicle to know what's out there. The example of grandma sitting an inch away from the wheel, looking between the rim and the dash board really rings true.

  • Six String Dec 14, 2011

    "When the interstate highway system was built the older drivers were in their 20s and 30s.."

    I understand the point, but there are people in Raleigh who will not go onto 440, 540, or I-40. And there are people in SC who have NEVER driven on an interstate and never will. They are just too afraid of the traffic. If you lack confidence and ability to drive on the interstate, I think you have a larger head problem to deal with.

  • CestLaVie Dec 14, 2011

    WRAL editors: this occurred north of Benson, not near Dunn.

  • Glass Half Full Dec 14, 2011

    And today is the day James Godwin, 36, is supposed to go to court for the damage he caused when he entered southbound I-95 going the wrong way back in August, I think. His wreck was just south of Benson, where last nights wreck was just north of Benson.

  • Viewer Dec 14, 2011

    Six String, sometimes I think elderly drivers aren't used to 4-lane interstates but are still so used to driving on 2-lane highways because they've done it for years that to see a car coming at them isn't unusual to them. Just a possible reason...

    When the interstate highway system was built the older drivers were in their 20s and 30s..

  • Seenenuff Dec 14, 2011

    I am not willing to attribute this tragedy to the driver's age at this point. I did the same thing once many, many years ago on New Bern Avenue--I was 16 at the time and just wasn't paying attention. Haven't done it since and I'm 58.