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Three Teens Killed in Nash County Wreck

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Three Rocky Mount teens were killed in this accident.
ROCKY MOUNT — Three teenage girls are dead and anotheris hospitalized after their car struck a tractor-trailer on a rain-soakedbridge in Nash County.

The accident happened Tuesday afternoon on US Highway 64 in NashCounty, and left many wondering why a 15-year-old was even behind thewheel.

Killed in the wreck were Winifred Willa Midgette, 15, who was drivingthe car, Ladtra Smiley, 16, and Patricia Wade, 13. A passenger, 18-yearold Denise Pettaway remains at Nash General Hospital. Her condition waslast listed as stable.

Troopers say the car was apparently traveling at about 65 mph, which iswithin limits for that area, but would be unsafe in rainy conditions.There were two other vehicles involved, but no other injuries reported.

It is legal to drive in North Carolina at age 15, but the lawstipulates that a driver that age must be accompanied by a parent or alegal guardian. The existing law is about to change for younger drivers.Legislators and many others hope to see fewer tragedies of this naturewith the new laws in effect.

NC DMV official Wayne Hurder says the new law should make a bigdifference.

Many are wondering if the young driver's lack of experience on theslippery road might be a contributing factor in the accident.

Photographer:Bill Jensen

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