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Speed blamed in fatal wreck

POWELLSVILLE – One Bertie County man is dead and another is in critical condition following a single-vehicle accident near here early Sunday morning.

Thomas Lewis Watford, 57 of 118 Sally Freeman Road, died as the result of injuries he sustained in the crash.

According to a report filed by North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper C.W. Godwin, Watford was operating a 2001 Chevrolet passenger car south on Sally Freeman Road shortly past 1 a.m. on Sunday. The vehicle, estimated by Trooper Godwin to be traveling 80 mph (in a 45 mph zone), entered a curve and ran off the right side of the road, striking a mailbox, a ditch and two trees before overturning.

Watford and his front seat passenger, Andre Bass, 41 of 339 Quebec Road, Colerain, were both ejected from the vehicle. Neither man was wearing a seat belt, according to Trooper Godwin’s report.

Bass was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. There he remains in critical condition, according to a hospital spokesperson contacted Monday afternoon by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.

The fatality occurred during the official July 4th holiday travel period (June 30-July 7). It was the 12th motor vehicle death this year in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A, District II Region (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Of those 12 deaths, five have occurred in Bertie County.