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Deer causes fatal crash

GATES – A two-vehicle crash caused by a deer ended with the death of a local man while injuring another near here Saturday night.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol office in Ahoskie reported that 29-year-old Walter Kelly Jr. of Middle Swamp Road, Gates, died at the scene of the accident, which occurred on Middle Swamp Road at around 9:25 p.m. on Oct. 27.

NCHP Trooper W.S. Smith said in his report that Kelly was operating a 2000 Ford Mustang south on Middle Swamp Road at which time he struck an eight-point buck in the roadway.

In an apparent effort to avoid striking the deer, Kelly’s car crossed the centerline and struck, head on, a 2015 Chevrolet pick up truck operated by 51-year-old Michael McPherson of Gates, which was traveling north at the time of impact.

After the collision, McPherson’s truck traveled off the right side of the road and onto the shoulder at which time it caught fire.

Trooper Smith stated in his report that McPherson managed to exit the vehicle despite suffering a broken leg. He was airlifted to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital where his medical condition is unknown.

Smith’s report noted that Kelly was not wearing a seat belt and was still inside the vehicle upon the arrival of emergency responders.

There were no other contributing factors to the crash, which resulted in no charges being filed.

The fatal crash was the eighth of the year within the Highway Patrol’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties). Two 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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