MICRO – The State Highway Patrol has released new details surrounding last Saturday’s fatal collision involving a Johnston County sheriff’s deputy. On Jan. 9th at 2:43pm, Deputy Quinton Rhue, 23, was responded to a “suicide shots fired call” with the blue lights and siren activated on his marked 2018 Dodge Charger patrol car. At the intersection of Highway 301 and Watson Road, Deputy Rhue’s cruiser collided with a 2001 GMC Sonoma pickup driven by Shirley Ann James, 63, of E. Fremont Street, Kenly.
According to an accident report just released by the State Highway Patrol, Deputy Rhue was traveling northbound on Highway 301 and had moved into the left (southbound) lane to pass two vehicles that were also headed northbound. The first vehicle, a small SUV, slowed and pulled to the right. The second vehicle, James’ GMC pickup, began to make a left turn from Highway 301 onto Watson Road. The front right corner of the patrol car struck the left driver’s side door of the pickup in the left lane (southbound lane).
After the impact, the patrol car traveled another 237 feet before stopping off the left shoulder. The pickup slid 152 feet and overturned facing west on the right shoulder, according to the accident report filed by Trooper B.S. Johnson.
Ms. James was pinned in her overturned truck. She died at the scene as a result of her injuries. Deputy Rhue was transported to Wake Med with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
According to the report, Deputy Rhue was originally traveling at an estimated 100 miles per hour, and at the time of collision was traveling approximately 90mph. The posted speed limit is 55mph along that section of Highway 301. There were no tire impressions or skid marks prior to impact. The report stated there were two eyewitnesses to the fatal crash.
The State Highway Patrol’s Accident Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assisted with the investigation. The Patrol’s findings were submitted Jan. 14th to the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office to review and determine if any charges will be filed. A decision by District Attorney Susan Doyle has not been announced.