Local News

Clayton High graduate killed in pickup-truck collision

Posted November 9, 2008 6:49 a.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2008 11:57 a.m. EST

— The state Highway Patrol said alcohol was a factor in the collision of two pickup trucks on Buffalo Road that killed a Clayton High School graduate two blocks from her parents' home.

Shannon Nicole Adkins, of Clayton, was driving a truck north on Buffalo, near Kentucky Drive, around midnight Saturday, troopers said. The driver of a pickup truck going south on Buffalo crossed the center and struck Adkins' pickup.

Adkins' pickup truck overturned and rolled onto the shoulder of the road, at the entrance to the Horseman's Run subdivision.

Adkins, who was wearing her seat belt, died instantly, troopers said.

The driver of other pickup truck, Desiree Olsen, 29, was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh. The Clayton resident was listed in good condition late Monday morning.

Troopers said that alcohol was a factor and charged Olsen with driving while impaired. Troopers were to meet with Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle Monday afternoon to discuss if more charges should be filed.

Adkins mother, Ernie, said she felt angry after hearing that news from troopers.

"I'm nobody's mama anymore," she said. "I'll never be a grandmother because of this woman who chose to drink and drive. She had no right to kill my baby."

Ernie Adkins said she was staying up, waiting for her daughter to get home, when she heard a "horrific" noise.

"I heard the crash. She was that close to home," said Ernie Adkins. She and her husband walked out to the crash scene and learned of their daughter's death from troopers.

“You could feel it and it was something that kind of knocked you back a bit. A sound that I've never heard before in my life,” neighbor Lewis Carver said.

Carver lives only a few yards from where the crash happened. Within seconds he and his son were there to help.

“We could not do anything to get her out or even reach her,” Carver said.

Adkins graduated from Clayton High School this year and was pursuing a criminal justice major at Wayne County Community College in Goldsboro, her mother said.

"That's my pride and joy right there. She was a good girl. You couldn't ask for no better," Ernie Adkins said.

Adkins did her senior project studying why Johnston County leads the state in auto-related teen deaths. The rides and help provided by Johnston sheriff's deputies inspired her to study criminal justice, her mother said.

Since 2006, more than 25 teens have died in wrecks on Johnston roads.

"It's got to stop," Ernie Adkins said. "How many more children have got to die? How many more grownups? How many more mamas are not coming home because of a drunk driver?"

A wake for Adkins is scheduled for Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Her funeral will take place immediately after at McLaurin Funeral Home in Clayton.