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Corapeake man dies in Wednesday crash

GATESVILLE – A 22-year-old Corapeake man lost his life and three others were injured near here Wednesday night after a vehicle turned upside down on its roof on a rain-slick roadway.

Franciso Reyes Raudales died at the scene of the single vehicle accident, which occurred shortly past 9:30 p.m. on Middle Swamp Road (RP 1318), just north of Black Mingle Road in Gates County.

In his report, NC Highway Patrol Trooper J.G. Williams stated that Raudales was the driver of a 2001 Pontiac passenger car that was southbound on Middle Swamp Road. The car entered a curve where the driver lost control, crossed the center line, traveled off the left side of the road where it struck a ditch and a utility pole before overturning and coming to rest in the ditch.

“Mr. Raudales, who was wearing a seat belt, was the only person still inside the car when emergency responders arrived at the scene,” said First Sgt. Mike Warren of the NCHP’s Troop A / District II office in Ahoskie. “Three passengers in the vehicle had managed to get out of the vehicle.”

Warren stated that the three passengers – Shayne Greene, 24, of Norfolk, VA, Chelsy Humphrey, 18 of Gates, and William Overton, 22, of Corapeake – were all injured and transported to Norfolk Sentara Hospital. Their injuries were believed to be non-life threatening, Warren said.

Williams’ report listed exceeding posted speed (65 mph in a 55 zone) and exceeding safe speed for the weather conditions on Wednesday night (where heavy rain fell across the R-C area) as contributing factors in causing the accident.

The fatality was the 10th of the year in the Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Three of those fatalities have occurred in Gates 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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