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Sunday wreck claims one life

COFIELD – A single-vehicle accident here Sunday morning turned deadly.

Patricia Ann Rankins, 49, of Winton died after her vehicle overturned at least twice after it left the roadway. Rankins was ejected and died at the scene, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J.K. Jones who investigated the accident.

The wreck occurred around 9:45 a.m. on NC 45, just north of the railroad crossing in Cofield. At that time, Rankins was operating a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer northbound. Trooper Jones said the vehicle ran off the road to the right, struck a ditch and overturned. It then impacted an electrical service pole before coming to rest on its wheels in the ditch off the northbound lane.

He added that the distance between where the vehicle’s tires first left the pavement to the point where it came to rest was 223 feet.

Rankins, he said, was not wearing a seat belt and was tossed 30-to-40 feet north of where the vehicle came to rest in the ditch.

Jones stated that excessive speed was a contributing factor to the accident.

Also responding to the accident scene were the Winton Fire Department, Hertford County EMS, and the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office. Dominion Power arrived to install a new electrical service pole.

The motor vehicle fatality was the fourth of 2017 in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Of those, three have occurred in Hertford 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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