Local News

Fayetteville teacher's assistant killed in wreck

Posted November 19, 2009 9:32 a.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2009 5:39 p.m. EST

— A teacher's assistant for Cumberland County Schools was killed and her daughter was seriously injured Thursday morning in a wreck on Strickland Bridge Road, police said.

A Dodge pickup was going westbound on Strickland Bridge Road at about 7:15 a.m. when the driver drove off the right of the road and clipped a bicycle, police said. The pickup driver then over-corrected and collided head-on with a Chevrolet Impala near the intersection with Jenna-Shane Drive, police said.

"(The pickup) had hit, just scraped the handlebars of the bicycle, and (the driver) didn't even see the oncoming car," said Theresa Chance, spokeswoman for the Fayetteville Police Department.

The driver of the Impala, Tara Thompson, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 11-year-old daughter, Shanice, was pinned inside the vehicle, and firefighters had to cut the roof off the car to pull her from the vehicle.

Shanice Thompson suffered serious injuries and underwent surgery at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Her condition was unknown Thursday.

Cumberland County Schools officials said Thompson was a teacher's assistant at Seventy-First Classical School, and police said she was on her way to school at the time of the wreck.

The pickup's driver, Johnnie Clint Nabours, of Burgaw, and two passengers, Mariano Vazques, 36, and Pedro Santos, 30, both of Burgaw, were also taken to Cape Fear Valley for treatment. Their conditions were unknown, police said.

The 18-year-old bicyclist, Blayne Ritter, wasn't injured.

Edith McNeill, who lives nearby, said she heard the crash and raced to the scene.

"I have never seen anything like that," McNeill said. "I took pictures so that I could remind myself how fragile cars are, how fragile life is. The one person, in my opinion, who didn't do anything wrong is now dead."

Police said charges are pending in the wreck.

Strickland Bridge Road was closed between Jenna-Shane Drive and Larwood Drive for more than three hours.