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Easter wreck claims life

COLERAIN – A Perrytown woman, one day short of her 23rd birthday, tragically lost her life near here Sunday night.

Juanita Renee Holley reportedly died at the scene of a one-vehicle accident on Wakelon Road (RP 1001), approximately 5.6 miles south of Colerain.

According to a report filed by North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper S.A. Mize, Holley was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle as it overturned.

Trooper Mize’s report stated that Holley was operating a 1996 Chrysler south on Wakelon Road at around 9:45 p.m. The vehicle apparently ran off the right side of the road at which time, according to Mize’s report, the driver attempted to regain control, but overcorrected. The car then struck a ditch bank and a culvert, causing it to overturn.

Bertie County emergency responders (a Bertie Sheriff’s deputy and the Colerain Rescue Squad) were the first to arrive at the scene. They located Holley’s body a short distance from the vehicle and, not knowing if there were any other occupants in the car, began a search for possible other victims.

An EastCare air unit was summoned from Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, but was turned back once it was learned there were no other victims.

This marks the ninth motor vehicle fatality in the local area this year. Excluding the death of a motorcycle driver, seven of the other eight fatalities were attributed to drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts.

“The trend continues,” First Sgt. Eric Jackson of the NCHP office in Ahoskie said. “Studies have shown that using a vehicle’s restraint system does indeed save lives. We encourage all motorists to buckle-up.”