DWI Suspect Indicted For Causing Head-On Collision On US 70

A Johnston County Grand Jury has indicted a motorist on charges stemming from a head-on collision earlier this year on the Highway 70 Clayton Bypass just east of Cornwallis Road.

On August 24, 2019 at 11:54pm, the State Highway Patrol said Keya Jenai Echols, 25, of Durham was traveling the wrong way – eastbound in the westbound lanes of the Highway 70 Bypass – in her 2016 Honda passenger car when she slammed head-on into a 2011 Toyota being driven by Asia Teniel Gilliam, 36, of Goldsboro.  After the impact, the Honda traveled 45 feet and came to rest on the shoulder. The Toyota traveled 17 feet and came to rest partially in the median, according to the collision report.

Gilliam and two passengers in her car, ages 24 and 32 and both from Goldsboro, were badly injured.

Troopers estimated Echols was traveling at 40 mph and Gilliam at 70 mph when the two vehicles struck head on. The speed limit is 70mph.

Echols was indicted on Dec. 2 by a Grand Jury in Smithfield on three counts of felony serious injury by vehicle and one count of driving while impaired.  According to the indictment, the impaired driving offense was the proximate cause of the serious injuries. Echols was also seriously injured in the crash.

Trooper C.O. Best investigated the collision.