Local News

Smithfield Collision Injures Four High-School Students

Posted December 2, 2003 10:24 a.m. EST

— Three teenagers remain hospitalized following a head-on crash near Smithfield-Selma High School Monday afternoon.

The accident occurred on Booker Dairy Road in Smithfield just after 3 p.m. Three students were in one car and one student in the other. Emergency workers said the students were pinned inside the vehicles.

Smithfield-Selma High School senior Lamar Johnson and junior Chris Highfill were airlifted by Life Flight to Duke Hospital. Johnson is in fair condition and Highfill is listed in good condition.

Seniors Chris Pendergraft and Brooke Whitfield were taken to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield. Pendergraft is listed in good condition. Whitfield, the driver of one car, was treated and released Monday.

Highfill was behind the wheel of the other car and had two classmates as passengers.

The speed limit on Booker Dairy Road is 45 mph, but people who live nearby said speeding is a problem, and accidents like Monday's happen far too often.

Investigators have not said if speed was a factor in the wreck, but they acknowledge it is problem. So has the state Department of Transportation, which has plans to widen the road from two lanes to five by 2008.

Smithfield police said since Jan. 1, there have been five accidents on Booker Dairy Road.