Local News

Soldier Serious But Stable After Wreck

Hours after a Fort Bragg soldier returned from Iraq, he was involved in a wreck that killed his wife and left him injured, authorities said.

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SPRING LAKE, N.C. — A Fort Bragg soldier injured in a wreck that killed his wife has had his condition upgraded to serious by stable, officials at UNC Hospitals said Friday.

Chief Warrant Officer James Dunn was driving along Nursery Road north of Spring Lake just hours after his return from Iraq Wednesday when his 2006 Nissan convertible skidded on a curve and slammed into a stand of pine trees, said 1st Sgt. Tim Baldwin, of the state Highway Patrol.

Baldwin estimated that Dunn was traveling at 100 mph before the wreck, which splintered some of the trees and left wreckage strewn along the side of the road.

Gretchen Dunn, 36, wasn't wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car. She died at the scene.

Rescue personnel spent 20 minutes trying to free James Dunn, who was wearing a seat beat, from the wreckage. One of his legs was crushed and had to be amputated, and he could lose his other leg as well, Baldwin said.

Troopers are trying to determine why James Dunn was driving so fast, Baldwin said. Dunn had a clean driving record, and no drugs or alcohol were involved, he said.


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