Deadly holiday

Published 11:11 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Two motorists and one pedestrian were killed on Roanoke-Chowan area roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

A single car accident near Windsor on Thanksgiving afternoon claimed the life of an Elizabeth City woman.

Nancy Rascoe Stevenson, 86, of 1014 Rivershore Road, tragically lost her life when a passenger car operated by her husband wrecked on US 17 Bypass, just north of US 17 Alternate.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J.J. Scott said in his report that 86-year-old Paul A. Stevenson was operating a 2010 Toyota. For reasons unknown at this point, the vehicle, which was traveling in the outside (left) southbound lane of the four-lane divided highway, crossed over into the right (inside) lane and then traveled off the right side of the road where it impacted several trees before coming to rest.

Mrs. Stevenson, a front seat passenger, was transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where she later died.

Mr. Stevenson was taken to Vidant Bertie Hospital in Windsor where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation. Charges are pending.

Early Sunday morning (Nov. 25), a pedestrian walking along US 13 in Hertford County was struck and killed. Three other pedestrians were injured, one seriously.

NCHP Trooper A.S. Genao reported that Danita White, 25, of Scotland Neck died at the scene. He said she and the other pedestrians were walking on US 13 near the LTD Club (located between Ahoskie and Winton) at around 12:17 a.m.

“The pedestrians were forced to walk in the road due to several vehicles being parked illegally across from the LTD,” Genao said.

Genao’s accident report revealed that a Subaru Forester, driven by 29-year-old Wendi Nevarez of Williamston, was traveling south on US 13. Her vehicle reportedly sideswiped two parked vehicles – a 2018 Nissan pick up truck and a 2015 Honda – and then struck all four pedestrians.

The accident remains under investigation.

Those two fatalities raised this year’s death toll to 11 in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Hertford and Gates counties). Six of those fatalities have occurred in Bertie County, and three in Hertford County.

A fatality on I-95 in Northampton County occurred early Friday morning (Nov. 23).

According to, NCHP Trooper J.T. Keeter said Sandy Griffin, a 59-year-old man who maintains residences in Brooklyn, New York, and Rocky Point in North Carolina, died after he swerved to miss a disabled vehicle which was in the southbound lane of the interstate at the 176 mile marker in the Gaston area shortly before 1 a.m.

The man driving the vehicle which was in the roadway had crashed when his 2016 Honda Civic ran off the roadway to the left and struck a guardrail. While the Civic sustained heavy front end damage, the driver, Nicholas Saadipour, 34, of Montgomery County, Maryland, was able to get the vehicle back on the roadway.

Keeter said it appeared Griffin did not see the dark blue Honda until the last minute. When Griffin swerved to miss the Honda, he ran off the road to the right in a 2001 Ford Explorer and overturned. Griffin, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three other passengers in the vehicle with Griffin escaped serious injury.

Keeter consulted with District Attorney Valerie Asbell and the following charges were filed against Saadipour: DWI, fail to maintain lane control, open container, careless and reckless driving, and felony death by motor vehicle.

Keeter said investigation of the crash continues to determine whether further charges may be filed against Saadipour.

Saadipour was hospitalized for observation.






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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