DWI wreck claims life

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017

AULANDER – A Colerain woman is facing charges after an automobile accident claimed one life and seriously injured two others near here Friday night.

Shaunna Jernigan, age 27, currently stands charged with DWI and reckless driving following the 10:20 p.m. single vehicle accident on NC 305, approximately three miles south of Aulander.

First Sgt. Rodney Sawyer of the Ahoskie office of the North Carolina Highway Patrol (NCHP) said Jernigan’s alcohol level was 0.17, or more than two times the legal limit (0.08). He added that more charges are pending against Jernigan, to include felony death by motor vehicle, pending consultation with the local District Attorney.

The accident claimed the life of 28-year-old Bobbi Rae White of Aulander. White was one of three back seat passengers in the vehicle. According to Sawyer, she was not wearing a seat belt and the only one ejected from the car.

Two other back seat passengers – Haley Williams, 22, of Colerain, and 29-year-old Victoria Dixon of Aulander – were trapped in the vehicle and extricated. Both sustained serious injuries and were airlifted by EastCare to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Neither was wearing a seat belt, Sawyer noted.

Sawyer said neither Jernigan nor her front seat passenger, 24-year-old Cody White, was seriously injured.

“Miss Jernigan refused medical treatment at the scene and Mr. (Cody) White was the only occupant in the vehicle who was wearing a seat belt,” Sawyer stated.

Through another source of information it was learned that Bobbi Rae White, Williams and Jernigan were all employed as Emergency Medical Technicians.

According to Highway Patrol Trooper J.G. Williams, who investigated the accident, Jernigan was operating a 2017 Toyota passenger vehicle – a rental car owned by Enterprise. His report showed that the vehicle was traveling north on NC 305, near the Connaritsa Road intersection. There, the vehicle entered a right-hand curve, but instead traveled straight off the road and off the left shoulder where it struck a ditch and overturned several times before impacting a utility pole and a tree.

Highway Patrol Trooper C.W. Godwin is handling the charges in the fatal accident, which was the 14th of the year in the NCHP’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Six of those fatalities have now 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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