Bicyclist killed in Sunday mishap

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, February 1, 2011

COLERAIN – Thus far it’s a bad start to 2011.

For the third time in January, a Roanoke-Chowan area resident has lost their life on a local roadway.

The latest fatality came early Sunday evening on NC 45 just north of Colerain where Tomeka Dashawnd Wiggins, 28, died after the bicycle she was riding reportedly pulled into the path of a pick-up truck.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper C.W. Godwin investigated the mishap, saying that Wiggins rode a bicycle out of a residential driveway onto NC 45 (1.3 miles north of Colerain). There she was immediately struck by a 1998 Toyota pick-up truck operated by 33-year-old Brian Scott Smithwick of Windsor.

The truck was traveling south on NC 45 at the time of the 6:36 p.m. accident.

Smithwick told Trooper Godwin that all he saw was “a flash” just prior to impact.

“Mr. Smithwick had no time to react in order to avoid the collision,” said NCHP Sgt. Mike Warren who was summoned to the scene. “It happened so quickly that he didn’t know what his truck had struck. He didn’t find that out until turning his truck around to go back to the point of impact. When he saw the bicycle, he knew it wasn’t good and immediately dialed 9-1-1.”

Sgt. Warren said Wiggins died at the scene. He added that Wiggins listed 2738 NC 45 North, Colerain as her residence, but was apparently residing at the home from where she left riding the bicycle.

Failure to yield right of way by the bicyclist was the lone contributing factor reported as the cause of the fatal accident.

No charges were filed against Smithwick.

As reported earlier, the fatality was the third of 2011 on roadways covered by the NCHP Troop A, District II office (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Two of those fatal accidents have occurred in Bertie County.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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