Tuesday accident claims life of Ahoskie man

Published 8:08 am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AHOSKIE – An Ahoskie man en route to work died early Tuesday morning in a single vehicle wreck.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol reported that Ervin Watford, 43, of Roger Lane was killed in the accident that occurred on Jernigan Airport Road approximately two miles south of Ahoskie.

According to NCHP Trooper Grant Bowman, the accident occurred around 3:20 a.m. The accident scene was one mile from Watford’s home. He was reportedly en route to his job at Smithfield Packing in Smithfield, VA.

Trooper Bowman reported that Watford was operating a 1999 Ford mini van north on Jernigan Airport Road when it veered off the right side of the road, within a shallow curve, at which time the vehicle struck a mailbox. Watford apparently overcorrected his steering at that point, causing the vehicle to travel across the road and onto the left shoulder. The accident report then showed that Watford apparently oversteered the vehicle, causing it to lose control as it re-entered the highway. The van overturned several times before coming to rest in a private driveway.

Watford was pronounced dead at the scene by the Hertford County Medical Examiner. He was traveling alone.

Bowman’s report showed that speed was not a contributing factor in the fatal accident. It was blamed on “overcorrecting” and “oversteering” by the driver.

“Any curve in a road can pose a danger to a driver no matter how slight that curve may be,” Bowman said. “Drivers have a tendency to quickly steer a vehicle back onto a roadway after veering off a roadway, and thus lose control of their vehicle upon doing so. A driver is less likely to lose control of their vehicle if they slow down and ease their vehicle back onto the road.”

Bowman and two other NCHP Troopers were on the scene until 6 a.m. The road was closed in both directions to allow emergency responders – to include Hertford County EMS, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Ahoskie Rural Fire Department and Ahoskie Police officers – to work the accident scene.

The fatality was the 10th of the year in the Troop A, District 2 area, which covers Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties. One-half of those fatalities have occurred in Hertford County.