Local News

22 Crashes in 4 Years Logged at Johnston County Site

Posted August 6, 2007 12:07 a.m. EDT

— One week after a crash killed two people in Johnston County, one of the victim's loved ones is asking questions about the driving safety in that area.

Lee Brothers, a chief warrant officer with the National Guard, was killed on Highway 210 near McGee's Crossroads on July 30. He was driving back from Kinston when he was hit just 5 miles from home.

It was raining, according to troopers, when a Department of Transportation truck hauling asphalt slid down the hill and collided with Lee's car. Long-time DOT employee Carl Collins was also killed.

A DOT spokesperson said the crash is under investigation, but a potential review of the road hasn't been determined yet. Twenty-two crashes with injuries have been logged at or near the site since 2003.

One neighbor said in his five years there, he has seen this before.

“In that period of time, there has been four or five wrecks in this identical same spot,” said Tom Nelms. “In the past, all of those have hydroplaned when it was raining.”

This latest crash has Brothers’ friend Jon Odell and others wondering if there is something about the road that triggers accidents.

“I think it’s extremely important that Lee and Mr. Collins, that their lives were not in vain,” Odell said. “I think if we can just look at the road, if we can just save one more life, then it makes it all the worthwhile.”

Brothers was the father of three. His wife of 13 years said she always feared he would be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, never that he'd be killed in an accident so close to home.