Speed a factor in Bladenboro man’s death

Staff report

ELIZABETHTOWN — The death of a motorist in a crash on Saturday, Aug. 6, along U.S. 701 was due, in part, because of speed.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol report filed by Trooper J.A. McVicker Jr. stated the wreck happened at about 1:07 a.m. about three miles north of Elizabethtown.

Joseph E. Russ of Bladenboro was reportedly traveling south on U.S. 701 near Turnbull Creek in a 2003 Jeep when he ran off the right side of the road and sideswiped a guardrail. The Jeep then returned to the road, crossed into the northbound lane and continued off the road.

The Jeep crashed through a cement bridge rail, tumbled 30 feet to the ground below and landed on its roof. Russ was declared dead at the scene.

McVicker’s report said the Jeep traveled 233 feet after hitting the guardrail and was traveling about 90 mph when it hit the cement bridge rail.

No age was given for the victim.


Another fatality


A 47-year-old Bladenboro woman was killed on Friday when her vehicle crossed the center line and hit a pickup truck head on.

According to a N.C. State Highway Patrol report, Karen J. Hair was driving a Honda CR-V when she collided with a Ford pickup driven by Carlie W. Strickland, 74, at about 8:15 a.m.

Hair was pronounced dead at the scene and Strickland was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and is in stable condition.


Third fatality


A Bladen County woman was killed Saturday when the SUV she was driving collided with a farm tractor being driven by her husband.

According to reports, Deborah Byrd Morris, 56, of Bladenboro died after her vehicle struck the boom sprayer on the tractor, veered off Center Road and was submerged in a pond.

The couple’s daughter, Kelly Barnes, 30, was a p[assenger in her mother’s SUV and was treated for minor injuries.

Staff report

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