RR man dies in Northampton crash

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, September 16, 2014

By Lance Martin


GARYSBURG – A Roanoke Rapids man was killed Saturday morning in a one-vehicle wreck on Big John’s Store Road in the Garysburg, Pleasant Hill area.

The passenger in the Jeep Wrangler, according to Trooper D.L. Edwards of the state Highway Patrol, was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond where as of Saturday he was experiencing respiratory distress and was unconscious.

Edwards said it was not clear when the wreck actually occurred. The Highway Patrol was notified by a hunter around 4:30 a.m. who saw the top of the Jeep in a field. He saw the passenger, later identified as 46-year-old Jeffrey Robert Koch of Emporia, VA, and tried to administer help as best he could.

The hunter did not notice the driver of the Jeep, Cody Pearson, 19, whose driver’s license lists a Hamilton Street, Roanoke Rapids address, lying in the field. Pearson died in the crash.

The investigation by Edwards shows that Pearson was driving the Jeep east on Big John’s Store Road near the Highway 301 intersection when he went left of center and ran off the road. The vehicle struck a ditch and overturned several times, tearing the fiberglass top off.

Both occupants, who Edwards said investigation shows were not wearing seat belts, were ejected from the vehicle.

Speed and possible alcohol use are contributing factors, Edwards said. Results of a toxicology report are pending.

According to Ed Porter Jr. of Gaston Fire and Rescue, the vehicle was found upright in a soybean field with both the driver and passenger ejected, lying in the field. The driver was pronounced dead on the scene by Northampton County EMS paramedics.

(Lance Martin is Editor and Publisher of www.rrspin.com. Permission was granted to publish this story.)