Local News

Four people killed in Nash County wreck

Posted May 29, 2010 7:29 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2010 6:10 a.m. EDT

— The state Highway Patrol said four people were killed and one injured in a single-vehicle crash Saturday evening on Interstate 95 in Nash County.

Just before 6 p.m., a Ford SUV was traveling south when it went off the road, crashed into a tree and flipped at mile-marker 131 in Rocky Mount, troopers said.

Four adults inside the vehicle – driver Sylvester Pernell, 31, Jamal Pernell, 19, Kimberly Pernell, 21 and Georgia Pernell, 55 – were killed, troopers said.  Annie Brown, who was in the passenger seat of the SUV, survived.  The 90-year-old woman was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, troopers said. She was in critical condition Monday.

Investigators with the Highway Patrol said they are not sure what caused the wreck but it appears that the driver might have fallen asleep.

While troopers said drivers stopped following the wreck, no one that they have spoken with saw the crash happen.

“Any witnesses can help any investigation, but without that we have to go by what we find, evidence at the scene,” Lt. Bobby Culler with the state Highway Patrol said.

The victims are from Dillon, S.C., troopers said. Brown is Georgia Pernell's mother and the other three victims were her grandchildren. They had attended a high school graduation near Washington, D.C., and were driving back to Dillon when the SUV crashed, troopers said.