Wreck claims Aulander man

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, December 21, 2013

WOODLAND – Excessive speed is to blame for a single-car crash that left an Aulander man dead near here Tuesday night.

Matthew Zane Jones, 22, of 107 Arthur Majette Road was killed when the vehicle he was driving overturned multiple times and caught fire on a stretch of Baker’s Store Road (RP 1154) in HertfordCounty. Jones, reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle.

A passenger, 27-year-old Donna Whitaker of Murfreesboro, was injured. Whitaker, the owner of the 1996 Plymouth Neon driven by Jones, was wearing a seat belt.

“After the car came to rest in a ditch and caught fire, Miss Whitaker was trapped in the burning car, but fortunately passers-by came to her rescue and were able to remove her from the car,” stated First Sgt. Mike Warren of the North Carolina Highway Patrol’s Troop A/District II office in Ahoskie.

According to a report filed by NCHP Trooper J.G. Williams, Jones was operating the car as it traveled west on RP 1154. The car crossed the center line in a curve, traveled off the right side of the road and struck a ditch, causing the vehicle to overturn numerous times.

Williams’ report showed contributing factors to the accident as excessive speed (an estimated 85 mph in a 55 mph zone) as well as the suspected use of alcohol by the driver.

The fatality was the 11th of 2013 in Troop A/District II (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Three of those fatalities have occurred in Hertford County.