Local duo killed in 264 wreck

Published 8:14 pm Monday, June 8, 2015

GREENVILLE – A man and woman from Lewiston-Woodville were killed in a two-vehicle accident here Friday morning.

Maurice Johnson, 34, and his 31-year-old passenger, Sophina Smallwood, died after the car Johnson was operating was struck as he attempted to make a u-turn on US 264 near its intersection with NC 43.

North Carolina Highway Patrol officials investigating the accident believe that Johnson had accessed US 264 by mistake and was attempting to turn around and return to NC 43 at the time of the accident.

“The thinking is that Mr. Johnson realized he was heading in the wrong direction and made a u-turn to get back to the NC 43 on ramp,” said NC Highway Patrol spokesperson Ralph Proctor at the NCHP’s Troop A headquarters in Greenville. “We’ve been informed that Mr. Johnson’s destination on Friday morning was Vidant Medical Center here in Greenville for a visit with Ms. Smallwood’s mother.”

Proctor said that particular section of US 264 is a controlled access highway – a four-lane road separated by a grassy area, much like an interstate, with on and off ramps.

“As Mr. Johnson was in the midst of making the u-turn, his car was impacted in the driver’s side door by another vehicle that was traveling east on US 264,” Proctor said.

The driver of that vehicle – a Ford pick up truck – was 38-year-old Norberto Balderas of Wilson. Proctor said Balderas, who was not at fault in the accident, was uninjured.

Johnson and Smallwood died at the accident scene, Proctor said.

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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