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Tractor-trailer driver charged after wreck kills Onslow firefighter, deputy

A Fayetteville man faces charges of death by vehicle after his tractor-trailer struck and killed a deputy and firefighter during low visibility in Onslow County.

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Fireman Gene Thomas and Deputy Steve Boehm
VERONA, N.C. — A tractor-trailer driver has been charged in a Saturday morning wreck that killed an Onslow County volunteer firefighter and sheriff's deputy on U.S. Highway 17.

Robert Kornegay, 51, of Fayetteville, was driving a tractor-trailer that struck and killed Deputy Steve Boehm, 36, and firefighter Gene Thomas, 52, said Lt. Everett Clendenin, spokesman for the state Highway Patrol.

Boehm and Thomas were assisting with three minor wrecks that had occurred during low visibility created by a controlled burn on Camp Lejune, adjacent to U.S. 17.

Kornegay faces two charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle and one charge of exceeding a safe speed. A magistrate released him Saturday on his own recognizance, Clendenin said.

Boehm had crossed U.S. 17 to help Thomas with two wrecks in the northbound lanes when the tractor-trailer plowed into the accident scene. The driver had slowed some due to low visibility, and emergency lights had been activated in the deputies' patrol cars, Clendenin said.

A second deputy, Bill Hall, was injured when the tractor-trailer knocked his patrol car against him.

Funeral arrangements for Thomas were announced through Firenews.net.

Visitation will be held at Jones Funeral Home, 303 Chaney Ave. in Jacksonville, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. A service will be held at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Tuesday, and then Thomas will be interned at Onslow Memorial Park, 3280 Richlands Highway.

Visitation for Boehm will be held at White Oak High School,1001 Piney Green Road in Jacksonville, from 12 to 3 p.m. Wednesday.


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