• 61°

Deadly start to 2019

Two local men have lost their lives in vehicle accidents to start the new year.

The most recent motor vehicle fatality occurred on Thursday of last week (Jan. 17) in a head-on crash on NC 308 in Bertie County.

There, 23-year-old Kentwan Myleek Brown of Connaritsa Road, Kelford, died when his vehicle struck a tractor-trailer 3.7 miles east of Lewiston-Woodville.

According to a report filed by Trooper J.V. Reid of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Brown was operating a 2009 Hyundai passenger car eastbound on NC 308 at approximately 6:44 a.m. Meanwhile, a tractor-trailer, driven by George David Rascoe Jr. of Windsor and loaded with live chickens en route to Perdue’s processing facility, was traveling west.

Reid’s report showed that Brown’s vehicle traveled left of center while in a curve and then impacted the 18-wheeler head-on.

Upon impact, Brown was ejected from his vehicle and died at the scene.

The 18-wheeler ran off the left side of the road where it struck a ditch, causing multiple crates of chickens to dislodge from the trailer.

Rascoe was not injured.

What caused Brown to swerve across the center line remains under investigation per a toxicology report, according to the Highway Patrol’s district office in Ahoskie.

The new year’s first fatal crash was a single-vehicle accident on Jan. 5, also in Bertie County.

Trooper Reid’s report showed that at 11:47 p.m. on NC 42 between Colerain and Trap, 61-year-old Anthony Watson Watford of Longbranch Road in Colerain lost his life.

Watford, driving a 2004 Honda passenger car, was westbound on NC 42. His vehicle traveled off the right side of the road at which time he overcorrected the steering in an effort to return to the lane of travel. Reid said that caused the Honda to travel off the left side of the road where it initially impacted a ditch before striking a tree on the driver’s side door.

Watford died at the scene.

In his report, Reid showed that exceeding the posted speed limit (55 mph) was a contributing cause to the accident.

The two fatalities over a period of three weeks into the new year come on the heels of 11 total highway deaths during 2018 within the Highway Patrol’s Troop A / District II area (Bertie, Gates, and Hertford counties).

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