Four die in trio of weekend wrecks

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 15, 2007

It was a deadly weekend in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

Four motorists were killed in three different traffic collisions within a 24-hour period.

The first incident occurred in Bertie County on NC 308 at 2:50 p.m. Saturday, approximately 0.7 miles north of Lewiston.

Nickie McCoy Demery, 39, of Piney Woods Road in Lewiston, was driving her 1989 Honda passenger car north on NC 308 when her vehicle apparently went left of center and struck another vehicle head-on.

According to First Sgt. K. P. Pitts of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Demery was killed on impact.

The driver of the other vehicle, Althea Watson Howard, 37, of S. Main Street in Kelford, was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Howard was driving a 2001 Toyota passenger car and had been traveling south on NC 308 when the accident occurred.

Less than two hours later, two more motorists were killed in a collision in Hertford County.

That incident happened at 4:14 p.m. on NC 11, near NC 42 about three miles from Ahoskie.

Shaton Latroy Williams, 31, of West Pearl Street in Aulander, was driving his 2001 Nissan passenger car south on NC 11 when the vehicle went left of center.

In another head-on collision, Williams’ vehicle struck that of Mary Louise Vaughan, 37, of Ahoskie, who was traveling north on the same highway.

Vaughan was driving a 2000 Dodge passenger car and carrying four passengers, including three children.

Both drivers, Vaughan and Williams, were killed instantly, according to Pitts.

The youngest child in Vaughan’s vehicle, a 12-year-old, was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital where he is listed in serious condition.

The three other passengers were transported to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.

Adding to the chaos, a vehicle that was traveling behind Vaughan’s apparently had to swerve right to avoid the initial collision and ended up wrecking on its own.

The driver of that vehicle and its six passengers, ranging in age from 10 to 47, all sustained minor injuries.

Pitts stated that everybody who was killed was wearing their seat belts in both collisions.

The deaths bring the total number of traffic fatalities for the year in the NCHP District 2 Troop A (Bertie, Hertford and Gates Counties) to 19, with six being in Bertie and eight in Hertford.

Sunday, in Northampton County at 2:26 p.m., a man on a motorcycle was killed in yet another traffic collision.

That incident occurred on NC 186 near Garysburg.

Lannie Clanton, 54, of Garysburg, was driving his 2002 Honda motorcycle west on NC 186 when it hit a car that apparently turned in front of him.

Darlene Higgs, 45, of Oak City, was driving a 2005 Chrysler passenger car traveling east on NC 186.

According to the police report, Higgs was turning left into a parking lot when the motorcycle struck her vehicle.

Clanton later died at the scene, while Higgs sustained only minor injuries.

Higgs was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle as she was found to be at fault in the collision.