Accident Kills Two, Leaves Families Shattered
Posted May 24, 2001 7:37 a.m. EDT
DUPLIN COUNTY — Two grieving families have been brought together by one horrible incident, a hit-and-run accident that killed two people. While they deal with their loss, the families say the pain is even worse because the driver has not been caught.
The three friends were fishing together, on the side of a bridge, when the driver apparently lost control, swerved off the road and hit all three of them.
Two people, Mary Wright and Jasper Carlton, are dead, one is still in the hospital, and the 17-year old driver is still missing.
The pain is still holding on to Hattie Wright, who lost her 51-year old daughter, Mary.
"She was just in the prime of her life and he took it from her," she says. She was enjoying life. She had a family back here and she was my oldest daughter."
A single bouquet marks the spot where Wright and Carlton died. Wright leaves behind four children and eight grandchildren.
"It was just a tremendous shock because I had seen her about an hour and a half before, and it was devastating, you know, I would never wish this on anybody," says Wright's daughter, Betty Holland.
Carlton was an Army veteran who worked nearby in his hometown of Warsaw.
"Seventy-five, 80 percent of the people in Warsaw just knew him from riding his moped, we knew him from riding his bike," says friend Tommy Jones. "Just about everybody was friends in this whole community."
Troopers say 17-year old Jorge Reyes was driving the pickup truck that afternoon.
"It could have been anybody's mother, I mean anybody, and I don't want him out there to be able to do this again," Holland says.
"I just want to see him face to face," says Wright's mother. "I want to see him face to face. I don't know what I'm going to say, not right now I don't. I pray for him, I pray for him right on."
Troopers say they found the vehicle abandoned a few miles away. It was not stolen, but they still have not been able to find Reyes yet. If you know anything about the case, the highway patrol would love to hear about it.
The survivor of the hit-and-run, Rita Carlton, is in fair condition Thursday night at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville.