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Drive from work turns deadly

WINDSOR – It was a drive that Benjamin Lee Bazemore made nearly every day on his way home from work, only this time the 60-year-old Bertie County man didn’t reach his residence.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol has launched an investigation into what caused Bazemore to lose control of his vehicle on Monday morning and crash into a tree, an accident that claimed his life.

NCHP Trooper A.S. Genao said Bazemore was en route to his home on Grabtown Road near Windsor after working the night shift at Perdue Farms’ processing plant just outside of Lewiston.

Genao’s report showed that Bazemore was operating a 1991 Oldsmobile SUV, traveling south on Indian Woods Road (RP 1108) near the Blue Jay Ballpark when the accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m.

Bazemore’s vehicle crossed the centerline, ran off the left side of the roadway, struck a culvert and went airborne before sideswiping an unoccupied vehicle parked in a private driveway. That vehicle, a 1990 Plymouth van, is owned by Harvey Lee Thompson of 1233 Indian Woods Road.

After clipping Thompson’s van, Bazemore’s SUV then struck a tree and came to rest on its right side.

Trooper Genao said Bazemore was wearing a seat belt and was inside the vehicle upon arrival of rescue personnel.

Bertie EMS transported Bazemore to Bertie Memorial Hospital in Windsor where he was pronounced dead.

“As of now we are uncertain as to what factors contributed to Mr. Bazemore losing control of his vehicle,” Trooper Genao said. “That remains under investigation.”

Bazemore’s death was the seventh traffic fatality of the year within the NCHP’s Troop A, District II area. Of those seven fatalities, two have occurred in Bertie County.