Two Dead In Christmas Day Crash

Two people were killed and one person was seriously injured in a head on collision Friday night in Johnston County. The 8:06pm crash occurred on Highway 96 north of Highway 231 in the Corinth Holders community.

According to the State Highway Patrol, Jimmy Bryant, 78, of Zebulon was traveling southbound on Highway 96 in a brown Buick when he crossed the centerline and collided head on with a northbound white Nissan driven by Fernando Mendoza, 44, of Zebulon. Both drivers died at the scene.

A female passenger in the Nissan was pinned in the wreckage. She was extricated by Corinth Holders firefighters then rushed by Johnston County EMS to WakeMed. Her injuries were considered to be serious but non-life threatening.

Troopers said moments after the head-on collision occurred, a third vehicle, also a white Nissan, struck the brown Buick but that driver was not injured.

Highway Patrol First Sgt. R.B. Maynard said speed nor alcohol appeared to be contributing factors. Both drivers who died were wearing their seat belts.

Highway 96 was closed for more than three hours while the crash was investigated.