Girl, 8, among five killed on icy NC roads

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

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RALEIGH, N.C. — 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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Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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