Local News

Wrong-way driver causes double fatal wreck in Sanford

Posted July 9, 2011 4:54 p.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2011 8:00 a.m. EDT

— A 63-year-old Wake Forest woman drove the wrong way on U.S. Highway 1 in Sanford Saturday afternoon and struck a SUV head-on, killing herself and a 46-year-old father.

State troopers said that Joyce Lorraine Tubbs was unfamiliar with the area. She merged onto U.S. 1 from an exit ramp and started driving north in the southbound lanes shortly before 3 p.m. near the intersection with 15/501.

Her 2005 GMC Envoy, going 65 mph, hit a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban traveling at 50 mph, troopers said. One of the vehicles – witnesses said it was the Suburban – overturned and then erupted in flames.

Tubbs and the Suburban driver, David Earl Spears, of Rockingham, died at the scene.

Spears' wife and 13-year-old son, who were passengers in the Suburban, were treated and released from Central Carolina Hospital.

Troopers said the wreck is still under investigation, but they believe it happened simply because Tubbs was unfamiliar with the area. They don't believe alcohol was a factor.

Southbound lanes of U.S. 1 were closed for about two hours after the wreck.