A weekend crash on U.S. 701 between Elizabethtown and White Lake resulted in two fatalities and the arrest of a Huger, S.C., man who was charged with driving while impaired, failure to reduce speed, and two counts of death by motor vehicle.
The incident, which was investigated by Trooper R.L. Walker with the N.C. State Highway Patrol, happened on Saturday near the ATV Park.
According to reports, Kenneth G. Haselden, 64, was traveling south on U.S. 701 in a 2007 Dodge pick-up truck and towing a utility trailer. Haselden failed to slow down for traffic and ran into the back end of a 2006 Chevrolet SUV driven by Melissa C. Melvin, 50, of Elizabethtown.
The impact sent Haselden’s truck and trailer across the center line and directly into the path of a 2012 Honda Passport driven by Liz E. Manujano, 30, of Bladenboro, who had her three children — a daughter, 11, a daughter, 6 and a son, 1 — in the vehicle with her.
The two vehicles hit head on, killing Manujano and ejecting the 6-year-old, who was not wearing a seat belt and later died from her injuries. The 11-year-old, who was reportedly also not wearing a seat belt, was transported by helicopter to Duke Medical Center and the 1-year-old, who was restrained in a car seat, had only minor injuries.
After her vehicle was rear-ended, Melvin’s SUV was pushed across the center line and hit a 2006 Dodge van driven by Francie M. Hunter of Garland. Both drivers were transported to Cape Fear Valley/Bladen Halthcare for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Haselden, who was also transported to the hospital in Elizabethtown, posted a $50,000 secured bond and given a first court date of Oct. 24.