The NC Highway Patrol says speed was a contributing factor in a single vehicle accident Sunday afternoon in the Cleveland community that claimed the life of a teenage passenger and critically injured the teenage driver.
The crash was reported at 2:54pm on Cornwallis Road near Lee Drive off Highway 42 West of Clayton.
Troopers said a car driven by 19 year-old Montia Cymone Rhodes of Smithfield was traveling at a high rate of speed on Cornwallis Road when she ran off the roadway to the left while attempting to navigate a right-hand curve. The car traveled down an embankment and struck a utility pole with the driver side of the vehicle. The impact knocked down the utility pole.
Rhodes was extricated from the vehicle and rushed to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh with critical injuries. A passenger, 19 year-old Trae Anthony Spencer of Garner died at the scene.
Troopers said both the driver and passenger were wearing seat belts and the air bags in the car did deploy. Trooper T.R. Price is investigating the fatal crash.