Local News

One killed, several injured in minivan accident

Posted July 21, 2010 1:22 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2010 7:41 p.m. EDT

— One person was killed and five other family members were injured Wednesday when their minivan pulled in front of a tractor-trailer in Duplin County, the state Highway Patrol reported.

The Virginia family was returning from a trip to Carolina Beach when the wreck occurred.

The minivan, driven by John Snipes, of Harrisonburg, Va., was traveling on West Trade Road in the small town of Calypso and was trying to cross U.S. Highway 117 when it was struck by an 18-wheel hog truck, Highway Patrol Sgt, Will Thurston said.

The minivan was carrying four adults and three children.

Dennis Knupp was killed. His wife, Heather Knupp, was listed in serious condition at WakeMed in Raleigh. Their three children and her parents were taken by ambulance to area hospitals, where they were in good condition, the Highway Patrol said.

No charges are expected to be filed against the trucker driver, Donte Peterson, Thurston said. Charges against Snipe are pending.

The intersection where the wreck occurred has a flashing light and has been the scene of eight other wrecks, one of which was fatal, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation records.

The DOT added rumble strips and a stop sign to improve safety, Thurston said.

A spokesman said it plans to investigate Wednesday's crash and also study the intersection further.

"With the death that's been here, it most definitely needs to be looked at (again,) said J. D. Pate, whose mother and aunt were killed in a fatal wreck in the intersection. "Somehow, somebody needs to take some action to make some kind of change to try and save some lives."