ROSEBORO – The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office has identified two people killed in a fiery high speed car crash while trying to elude law enforcement officers. The chase started just after 6:00pm Saturday on NC 24 near Boren Brick Road.
Two deputies in a patrol car observed a vehicle traveling at high rate of speed and turned on their blue lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. However, the speeding driver turned onto Boren Brick Road and accelerated well over 100 miles per hour.
The deputies were in the process of terminating the pursuit when they observed an “explosion” and drove up on a car overturned and on fire. It was the same vehicle they had tried to stop.
A male was ejected from the overturned vehicle and was deceased. Officers attempted to extinguish the flames but were unable to reach the second person trapped inside.
Sampson County EMS and the Salemburg Fire Department responded. After an extensive extrication effort, a deceased woman was located in the car.
The victims have been identified as Ryan Squires, age 34, of Fayetteville. He was the driver. The passenger was identified as Leona Heyward, age 24, of Fayetteville.
A stolen pistol, AR-15 style rifle, and suspected marijuana was found in the car. The NC State Highway Patrol is currently investigating the fatal crash.
Sheriff Jimmy Thornton stated, “This crash is an example of the dangers involved in trying to elude law enforcement. A poor decision on the part of the driver led to the destruction of two lives and impacted the lives of their loved ones. My heart goes out to their families.”