Local News

Three killed when SUV flips on I-95 near Wilson

Posted August 20, 2011 7:36 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2011 9:13 p.m. EDT

— Three women were killed Saturday when an SUV carrying a family of eight wrecked on Interstate 95 near Wilson, the state Highway Patrol said. 

The family was returning home to New York City from Disney World, troopers said.

The driver, Rosanny Marte, 22, was traveling about 70 mph shortly after 4 p.m. when she lost control and rolled the Ford Expedition three times, troopers said. It landed on its roof.

The driver, her mother Angela Marte, 46, and grandmother Rosa Marte, 71 were killed. Neither Angela nor Rosa Marte were wearing seatbelts, troopers said.

The crash survivors – two men and three children – were critically injured and transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Reyes Marte has been treated and released and Nicholas Marte, 75, was listed in fair condition Sunday afternoon.

There was no word on the conditions of 10-year-old Nicholas Ray Marte, who was not wearing a seatbelt, and the two other children, whose names were not released.

Lawrence Solomon, who was two car lengths behind the Expedition when it flipped, said the wreck happened when a back tire on the SUV blew out.

"As soon as that tire hit the grass on the median, it started to flip over," Solomon said.

He said several drivers pulled off the highway to keep the family calm until paramedics arrived.

"The people out there were trying to get the children to lay still," he said. "They were trying to get everybody to lay still."

All northbound lanes of traffic were closed near exit 121 for several hours while authorities cleared the scene. Three helicopters were used to transport injured passengers to the hospital, Wilson County dispatchers said.