Windsor man dies in crash

Published 11:15 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

AULANDER – A Windsor man was killed in a single vehicle accident near here Tuesday morning, apparently after attempting to leave the scene of a crime in which he was involved.

Tarris Lamont Wilkins, age 40, died at the scene of the wreck, which reportedly occurred shortly after 7 a.m. along Brick Mill Road (RP 1231) in Bertie County.

According to a report filed by North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper C.W. Godwin, Wilkins was operating a 1995 Ford Explorer southeast on Brick Mill Road at which time he lost control of the vehicle in a curve. The Explorer veered left of center and traveled off the road to the right, where it impacted a ditch an overturned.

Wilkins was ejected from the vehicle.

In his report, Godwin noted that the vehicle was overweight. That was apparently due to an excessive amount of metal inside the vehicle, which allegedly led to an uneven distribution of weight that caused the driver to lose control upon entering the curve.

The NC Highway Patrol office in Ahoskie referred the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald to the Bertie Sheriff’s Office in order to obtain information regarding about the excessive metal found inside the vehicle.

Bertie Sheriff John Holley said that a North Carolina Wildlife Commission Officer was traveling along Brick Mill Road at around 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

“At that time, the Wildlife Officer observed an individual removing ties and steel rails from the railroad crossing on that road,” Holley said, adding that North Carolina-Virginia Railroad was in the process of installing new infrastructure at that particular location.

“The Wildlife Officer stopped to question the man, and figured out that the man was illegally removing those items, many of which were brand new,” Holley stated.

Holley added that the Wildlife Officer called the Bertie Sheriff’s Office to report what appeared to be illegal activity and that deputies were dispatched to that location.

“He asked the man to stay at the scene until the deputies arrived, but he (Wilkins) got in his vehicle and took off,” Holley said.

The fatal accident occurred just moments later.

It was the 10th fatality of the year in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Gates, and Hertford counties). Five of those fatal wrecks have occurred in Bertie 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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