PRINCETON – The State Highway Patrol has released details about Wednesday’s fatal crash on Highway 70 approximately one mile from the Johnston-Wayne County line. Four people were injured, one fatally and two critically.
The crash occurred at 7:22am on the westbound side of Highway 70 near Bridgers Road. According to Wayne County Highway Patrol First Sgt. Michael Dorsey an Isuzu box truck was traveling westbound behind an International Ryder box truck. The International began slowing down to pull onto the shoulder. The Isuzu failed to slow down and slammed into the rear of the International truck.
The driver of the Isuzu, Juan Manuel Tenorio, 44, of Seven Springs and a front seat passenger, Raul Alejandro Zepeda, 22, of Albertson, NC were both critically injured. Tenorio remains hospitalized at Vidant Medical Center and Zepeda at Wake Medical Center. The third occupant, seated in the extended cab portion of the box truck, Matthew William Cook, 26, of Pikeville died at the scene. Tenorio and Zepeda were wearing seat belts. Cook was not wearing a seat belt.
The driver of the International truck, Lawrence Bell Jr., 48, of Raleigh sustained minor injuries and was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital.
First Sgt. Dorsey said speed was a contributing factor and potentially inattention. There was no indication of impairment. Troopers have been unable to interview Tenorio or Zepeda due to the severity of their injuries.