Accident claims life of former Fire Chief

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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MURFREESBORO – An Easter Sunday morning outing with family members ended in tragedy here April 12.

William Evans “Billy” Deanes, a 30-plus year member of the Murfreesboro Fire Department where he served many years as Chief, was killed in a two-vehicle accident that occurred at the intersection of the Murfreesboro Bypass (US 158/258) and NC 11.

Deanes, age 63 who also worked for nearly 30 years with the Town of Murfreesboro’s Public Works Department, was a passenger in a 2011 Chevrolet truck owned and driven by 61-year-old Patricia Deanes of Conway.

According to North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper C.W. Godwin, the Deanes vehicle was eastbound on the bypass shortly before 10:30 a.m. Meanwhile, a 2017 Ford truck, driven by 32-year-old Demonte Jenkins of Franklin, VA, was northbound on NC 11.

Godwin said eyewitnesses to the accident told him that Jenkins failed to stop at the traffic signal at the intersection and broadsided the Deanes truck in the passenger’s side.

Patricia Deanes was seriously injured in the crash, as was another passenger in her truck, 38-year-old George Whitley of Conway. Godwin said both were airlifted from the scene by separate EastCare units and flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. A family member said they remained hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Jenkins was also injured and transported by Hertford County EMS to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie.

Also responding to the accident scene were the Murfreesboro Fire Department, Murfreesboro Police Department, and Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.

Trooper Godwin charged Jenkins with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to stop at a traffic signal.

The fatal wreck was the first in Hertford County this year and the second of 2020 in the NCHP’s Troop A / District 2 area, which also includes Bertie and Gates 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.

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