The Highway Patrol is investigating two fatal accidents in Johnston County that occurred about 12 hours apart.
The first collision happened Wednesday night on Interstate 40 at the Highway 210 Exit near McGee’s Crossroads. Troopers said 43 year-old James David Price of Four Oaks was operating a silver Ford pickup westbound at the 319 mile marker.
According to a passenger, Price was traveling at a high rate of speed when he attempted to take the Highway 210 Exit. Price ran off the left side of the roadway and struck a tree. He died at the scene from his injuries. The passenger, 28 year-old Robert Dale Strickland, was not seriously injured. According to a report filed by Trooper M.A. Samosky, both speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the 7:09 PM accident. Officials said they were unable to determine if Price was wearing a seat belt.
A second fatal accident was reported at 7:33 AM Thursday on Highway 42 West of Clayton at the US 70 Bypass, just west of the entrance to Johnston Medical Center – Clayton.
A white Jeep Wrangler was attempted to make a left turn but pulled into the path of an approaching white Ford F-150 pickup, according to Trooper J.R. Alexander.
The F-150 struck the Jeep in the passenger door, ejecting the passenger in the Jeep who was not wearing a seat belt. The female victim was killed as a result of her injuries. The driver of the Jeep, the victims husband, was taken to Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield where he later suffered a heart attack, Trooper Alexander said. The man was then transferred to Rex Hospital.
Charges are pending in the crash. Alexander said neither speed or alcohol were contributing factors. Photos by John Payne