Local News

Pickup truck strikes three, kills one outside Smithfield Walmart

Posted October 1, 2011 4:53 p.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2011 5:28 p.m. EDT

— An elderly man driving a pickup truck hit three pedestrians walking in the Walmart parking lot on North Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield Saturday morning, police said. 

Lois Shannon, 73, Debra Holmes, 53, and Jeanna Hawley, 35, all of Smithfield, were taken to Johnston County Memorial Hospital, where Shannon later died. Holmes and Hawley were in stable condition as of Saturday evening.

The driver, Benjamin Moye, 95, of Newport News, Va., was not injured and was allowed to leave with his family.

No charges have been filed. Investigators are trying to determine whether the driver was at fault or an equipment failure was the cause.

Tina Grady was shopping at Walmart when the women were struck. She said she came upon a horrific scene when she left the store.

"The elderly man that hit the girls was severely shaken. You could see that he was very shaken," she said. "(People) were just stunned and shocked that it had happened."

Marianne Rapp, who also came upon the accident outside the store, said the Walmart gets very busy and the parking lot can be dangerous.

"When there are throngs of people coming out of Walmart, you have to be very cognizant of what's going on around you or you're going to hit somebody," she said.

Smithfield police, state troopers and the Johnston County District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information about it is asked to call police at 919-934-2121.