Local News

Three Wayne County wrecks quickly claim four people

Posted December 23, 2008 4:08 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— Three highway crashes within two hours in Wayne County claimed the lives of four people, including one in which a 78-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man recently returned from his honeymoon died at a rural crossroads.

Two of the wrecks occurred within 15 minutes shortly before noon Tuesday – one at Polly Watson Road and N.C. Highway 581 North and another at 754 Buck Swamp Road. Shortly before 1:30, a three-car pileup occurred on N.C. Highway 55.

In the first wreck at the rural intersection known as Watson Crossroads, troopers said Christopher Anthony Ream, 23, of Fremont, was driving a pickup truck as he and a cousin returned from a duck-hunting trip, state troopers said. Ream apparently tried too late to obey a stop sign and skidded into the intersection, hitting a car that Ada Williams Jones, 78, of Wilson, was driving south on N.C. 581, troopers said.

Ream died at the scene, Jones shortly afterward, they said.

 

"It's just a shame, it really is, right here at Christmas," said Kenneth Edge, who lives nearby and heard the crash.

Ream was a dedicated volunteer and the newest member of the Eureka Fire Department, Chief Mike Brock said. Ream had recently returned from a honeymoon cruise and was considering either trying to find a full-time firefighter's position or entering the ministry, Brock said.

"The number of rescue units they was calling for was kind of disturbing," Brock said of what he heard over the county radio system. "Then to find out it's one of your own," he added, was "very saddening and heartbreaking."

A memorial to Ream now stands outside the Eureka firehouse, Wayne County Station 6. With it are his boots and helmet, which bears his identifying number, 647. That number is now retired.

"He'll truly be missed down here, truly be missed," Brock said.

In the second crash, Tammy Lynn Sullivan, 40, of Pikeville, died in a single-vehicle wreck at 754 Buck Swamp Road. Troopers said Sullivan was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car.

In the third accident, Darryl Lynn Houck, 50, of Lagrange, died in a three-car pileup on N.C. Highway 55 at N.C. Highway 403, between Mount Olive and Seven Springs, troopers said.

Troopers had not released the names and conditions of the other drivers in that wreck, and its cause was still under investigation.