Suffolk teen dies in Gates crash

Published 11:37 am Friday, August 7, 2009

SUNBURY – A Suffolk, Va. teen was killed near here early Thursday afternoon as a result of a two vehicle accident.

According to a report filed by North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Nick Harrison, 17-year-old Stevon Harris was pronounced dead at the scene after his vehicle was broadsided by a tractor-trailer.

The accident occurred at 1:05 p.m. on U.S. 158 in Gates County, approximately four miles east of Sunbury.

Trooper Harrison’s report showed that Harris was operating a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am south on RP 1002 (Folly Road). Harris allegedly failed to stop his vehicle at the intersection of Folly Road and U.S. 158. The vehicle – owned by the driver’s mother, Benita Harris of Suffolk – entered the intersection at which time it was struck in the passenger’s side by the tractor-trailer, traveling east on US 158.

The tractor-trailer, a 2004 International with an empty log trailer in tow, was operated by Salvatore Sortino of Aulander. The truck-trailer is owned by Douglas Temple & Son of Elizabeth City.

Sortino complained of minor injuries and was treated at the scene, according to Trooper Harrison’s report.

No charges were filed by Harrison or by an investigator with the Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Enforcement Division. That law enforcement branch is required to investigate all fatal accidents involving a commercially operated motor vehicle.

The fatality was the 13th of the year within the Highway Patrol’s Troop A, District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Of those District fatalities, three have occurred in Gates County.