Friday crash kills two

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2007

WINTON – Friday the 13th proved deadly as two Ahoskie residents were killed and another is in serious condition following a two-vehicle accident near here yesterday morning.

Leo Futrell, 22, and Shamia Dempsey, 19, lost their lives when the car in which they were passengers collided head-on with an oil transport tractor-trailer at approximately 9:30 a.m. on the stretch of US 13/158 between the Winton stoplight and the Thad Eure Bridge spanning the Chowan River.

The driver of the 1996 Volkswagen, 31-year-old Christopher Edwards, was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville where he was listed in serious condition.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper N.L. Harrison said the tanker, driven by 69-year-old George Trueblood Jr. of Hertford and owned by Hess Oil Company, was traveling north on US 13/158. Meanwhile, the VW was traveling south.

Harrison said witnesses told him the VW crossed the centerline and struck the oil tanker head on.

Following the impact, the tanker jackknifed and blocked both lanes of travel. The nose of the 18-wheeler came to rest at the guardrail off the southbound lane. The VW stopped upon striking the guardrail off the shoulder of the northbound lane.

Trueblood was not injured. His tanker was not loaded.

Trooper Harrison said Edwards was wearing a seat belt. Due to the severity of the impact, he added that he was unsure if either passenger – Futrell in the front right seat and Dempsey in the right rear seat – was restrained.

The crash forced local officials to close US 13/158 for three hours while emergency responders and clean-up crews worked the accident scene. The highway reopened at 12:30 p.m.

The crash, the second consecutive Friday where a motorist lost their life on a Hertford County roadway, lifted the year’s total to six fatalities in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A, District II area.