• 68°

Inmate transport van wrecks in Gates County

EURE  – Ten inmates and two officers were injured when a van transporting prisoners was involved in a single-vehicle accident near here Sunday morning.

One of the inmates suffered serious injuries.

The van – a 2017 Dodge Ram 3500 owned by US Corrections LLC  – was southbound on US 13 near Tarheel Barbecue shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday. There, according to a report filed by North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Smith, the driver of the van – Abby Waugh of Royal Palm Beach, Florida – said she fell asleep behind the wheel.

“Upon awaking, the driver realized she had traveled off the roadway and was in the ditch,” Scott said. “She then overcorrected her steering, which caused the van to lose control. It shot back across the highway where it overturned several times before coming to rest.”

Smith charged Waugh with reckless driving.

The driver and two of the inmates were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, Smith said. He added all 10 inmates were individually handcuffed. The other officer was within the van’s sleeper unit.

All the inmates plus the driver and the second officer were transported to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie by units from Gates County Rescue and Hertford County EMS. With the exception of the one inmate that was seriously injured and transported to another hospital, all others were treated and released.

After their release from RCH, the nine inmates were housed in the Hertford County Jail until US Corrections LLC could send another van.

Smith said US Corrections LLC is contracted by various law enforcement agencies in numerous states to transport inmates from one jail/prison to another.

“In this particular van, there was one inmate that was being transported to a North Carolina facility while the others were headed to facilities in Georgia and Florida,” Smith stated.

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.

email author More by Cal