A deadly two-vehicle accident claimed the lives of two Clinton residents Friday in Sampson County.
The wreck occurred before 8 a.m. Friday, July 10, on Taylors Bridge Highway (U.S. 421) near the intersection of Pearson Road (State Road 1116). The deceased victims were identified as Rolando Garcia, 26, and Paola Lizardo, 48, both of Clinton.
According to reports from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Garcia was traveling south on U.S. 421 with Lizardo when their vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer driven by Chris King of Ivanhoe, who was also traveling south. After attempting to make a U-turn to get access to Pearson Road, the trailer crashed into the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Garcia and Lizardo were pronounced dead at the scene. King was uninjured.
Friday’s fatal wreck brought the number of highway-related fatalities in Sampson County to 11 little more than halfway through 2015, including three in the past week. In all of 2014, there was a total of nine traffic deaths in Sampson.
State troopers recently investigated a fatality during the July Fourth weekend on N.C. Highway 55, near N.C. Highway 242. A female motorist was traveling east on Sunday, July 5, crossed the center line and struck another vehicle traveling west and rolled over. The accident claimed the life of a male passenger, who was traveling east. Alcohol may have played a role in the fatality since the driver was suspected to have been impaired.
Prior to the fatality incident, troopers responded to a July 4 morning wreck which resulted in five people being taken to hospitals to receive treatment for injuries. That accident occurred on North Carolina Highway 55, near Warren Mill Road, just west of Newton Grove. A motorist crossed a center line and ran into two vehicles going west.
First Sgt. Timothy Daniels, of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, stressed the importance of being careful, when it comes to driving on the state’s highways. He said troopers will continue to educate people about safety.
“As an agency, we’ll continue to utilize all of the resources that we have to make the road safe as we can,” Daniels said.
“We want to make people traveling the roadways are vigilant as possible and make sure they’re aware of their surroundings and to be prepared for other drivers so they react,” he said.
Daniels also indicated that the department is open to receiving input from the public if they have any concerns about safety or other issues on Sampson County highways. Local troopers can be reached at 910-592-3141.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.