Local News

Soldier Charged in Wreck That Killed 3

Posted December 19, 2006 1:43 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2006 7:03 p.m. EST

— A 25-year-old soldier was charged Tuesday in connection with a Monday afternoon wreck that killed three people, police said.

Clayton Morgan, whose address is listed as the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, is charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, police said.

A silver Nissan Pathfinder was traveling northbound on Reilly Road at about 3 p.m. Monday when it slammed into a gold Honda Accord that was stopped at the light at Fillyaw Road, police said. The impact caused the Honda to hit a motorcycle that was turning left onto Reilly Road.

The Pathfinder then went airborne and hit a Mercury Grand Marquis, bounced off and hit a burgundy Dodge minivan, police said.

Hyo Kwong Griffin, 48, of 7321 Avalon Drive in Fayetteville, and her 9-year-old son, Joshua, who were in the Accord, died at the scene, police said. The Griffins were on their way to pick up Joshua's basketball uniform at the time of the wreck, friends said.

The motorcyclist, Tom Parent, 48, a Fort Bragg soldier who lived at 966 Kennasaw Drive in Fayetteville, also died at the scene.

Police said speed and inattention were factors in the wreck, although they haven't said how fast the Pathfinder was going. They haven't determined if drugs or alcohol also were involved in the wreck.

The intersection was littered with wreaths and flowers Tuesday as people stopped to pay their respects to the victims.

A couple visiting the scene Tuesday said the Griffin's son attended Ben Martin Elementary School with their son.

"They were in the same grade, same class. We're on our way to school to pick up my son and let him know," Harold Hollander said.

"His mother raised him by herself all these years because she lost his father before he was born," said his wife, Aesook Hollander.

The Hollanders wept quietly as they laid a wreath at the intersection. A group of men from a nearby auto repair shop also paid their respects to the victims Tuesday morning by setting out their own wreath.

"She always believed that she had a mission from God to do God's work," said Yang Camus, a friend of Hyo Griffin. "We don't understand why this thing happened. But we know that God has some plan for each and every one."

Local residents describe the intersection as dangerous and say drivers traveling to and from Fort Bragg are often in a rush.

Morgan was treated at Cape Fear Valley Hospital and released.

The occupants of the Mercury Grand Marquis, John Page Jr., 63, and his wife, Kathryn Page, 60, of 207 Pecan St. in Elizabethtown, didn't require medical treatment.

The driver of the Dodge minivan, Annemarie Street, 60, of 6453 Freeport Road in Fayetteville, didn't require medical treatment, but her passenger, George Durmmond, 33, of 6841 Timbercroft Drive in Fayetteville, was treated at Cape Fear Valley Hospital and released.