Three Killed In Wreck Near Wake/Durham Line
Posted March 14, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
DURHAM — A stretch of Highway 98 near the Wake-Durham County line has long been regarded by area residents as dangerous -- and over the weekend three people were killed in a head-on collision at the site. Residents say the addition of a left-turn lane could have prevented the tragedy.
About noon, a vehicle had stopped on Highway 98 to make a left turn, and traffic behind had come to a stop as well.
According to police, a church van came upon the stopped traffic, could not stop in time and swerved to avoid a crash. In swerving, the van crossed the center line and hit a truck head-on.
Bobby R. Harris, 39, and his wife Thereasa, 35, were in the truck. Bobby Harris died instantly; his wife died about 1:30 at a local hospital.
Horace Milton, in his early 80s, was one of the van's passengers. He died at WakeMed from multiple head injuries Saturday night. His wife, Vernie, 82, suffered a broken leg and hip. Ruth Lawrence, 82, was ambulatory at the accident scene.
Police said the church van was driven by John Flowers, 55, who sustained leg and chest injuries.
The van passengers were returning to Rogers Grove Baptist Church after a fellowship breakfast when the accident occurred.
According to the Highway Patrol, charges are pending.
The accident occurred on a two-lane stretch of rural Highway 98 at Ridgeline Drive. Residents have sought unsuccessfully to get the NC Department of Transportation to construct a left-turning lane to make the area safer.
Thereasa Harris is survived by two children from an earlier marriage, and the couple is survived by a 12-year-old as well.