Local News

Driver, others charged after Vance County melee

Posted March 23, 2011 10:23 a.m. EDT
Updated March 23, 2011 3:53 p.m. EDT

— The man who hit a pedestrian in Vance County Saturday night faces charges of driving with a revoked license, driving with a revoked license plate and driving without insurance.

The Vance County Sheriff's Office has said Eric Loznicka accidentally hit Reuben Wright, 18, on Raleigh Road in Henderson. Deputies said Loznicka had no chance to see Wright or stop before hitting him.

Some witnesses told deputies Wright was in the road, but his friends disputed that claim, saying he was standing alongside the road when he was hit. Wright was listed in critical condition at Duke University Hospital Tuesday night.

In 911 calls placed in the minutes after the accident, people describe a chaotic scene where bystanders pulled Loznicka from his car and began beating him.

"They're running up the street saying they're going to kill everybody," one caller said.

"Something really bad is going on here," another caller told dispatchers. "Somebody's getting hurt really bad."

Deputies arrested four Henderson men: Lonnie Jack Hargrove, 19, and Less Ragland, 26, both of 745 Southerland St., and Damien Elijah Trowbridge, 34, of 199 Bunn St., and Avone Fouch, 30, of 536 Abbott Road, Lot 10. Vance County Sheriff Peter White said two other men – brothers Carlton Ragland, 21, and James Henry Ragland, 22, both of 324 Charles St. – surrendered to authorities.

All six are charged with misdemeanor assault.

Loznicka escaped the crowd and ran to a passing truck, a caller said. The driver of the truck took him to Maria Parham Medical Center, where he was treated and released. 

Some of the people from the scene of the beating followed Loznicka to the hospital, where someone hit his daughter in the head, authorities said.

There is no indication that the assault was racially motivated, authorities said.