Wreck victim identified


Staff Writer

Friday, September 22, 2017

The victim in Wednesday’s fatal wreck on U.S. 64 East has been identified. 

N.C. Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Sgt. Michael Baker identified the victim in the wreck as Mavis King Allen, 63, of Rocky Mount. Baker said Thursday in a written statement that Allen was driving a Mazda passenger sedan Wednesday on the eastbound lanes of U.S. 64 near Old Franklin Road when her car was hit from behind by a 2003 Ford Explorer. Trooper Justin Phillips, who responded to the wreck, said Allen was pronounced dead at the scene from her injuries.

Baker did not provide the identity of the SUV’s driver, nor did Phillips. Phillips stressed neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the wreck.

Nash County Communications received the report of the wreck at 5:38 p.m. One of the organization’s officials said the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Nash County Emergency Services, Spring Hope Fire Department and Momeyer Fire & Rescue Department responded along with the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Baker said the initial collision between the Ford and Mazda led to a chain reaction that involved three other unidentified vehicles being pushed into one another. Only one injury was reported in that second accident. Baker added the wreck backed up traffic along the highway into a work zone where a group of N.C. Department of Transportation workers had just finished working for the day. The workers were re-opening both eastbound lanes of the highway at the time, according to his statement.

Andrew Barksdale, N.C. Department of Transportation public relations officer, Divisions 4, 6 and 8, confirmed Baker’s statement and responded to comments from some about the signage used by the agency in its work at the time.

“We had contract crews at the site that were just finishing up cutting rumble strips when the wreck happened,” Barksdale said. “None of our contract workers were injured. In regards to concerns about signage, the workers followed proper procedure with signage including the use of a sign on a truck.”

Barksdale stressed the N.C. Highway Patrol is still investigating the wreck and that he could not comment on what that investigation could find.

“The Highway Patrol will determine the exact cause of the wrecks, so I can’t say much more,” Barksdale said.

Phillips said because the investigation into the wreck is ongoing, he could not comment on whether or not any charges will be filed against any of the drivers.

At least four other victims were reportedly transported to Nash UNC Health Care in connection to the second, separate wreck not far from the first wreck. Phillips said the second wreck happened approximately 1/10 of a mile behind the first wreck but did not know exactly how many victims were involved.

He said that wreck was non-fatal and any victims taken to any hospitals were taken only as a standard precautionary measure. None of the alleged victims’ identities were released at presstime. Law enforcement diverted traffic to the Spring Hope exit following the accidents.