A Clinton man has been charged in a five-car pileup that occurred on U.S. 421 Friday, resulting in injuries to himself and at least two other people.
According to N.C. Highway Patrol reports, Richard Thomas Lee, 31, of Easter Lilly Lane, Clinton, has been charged with failure to reduce speed in connection with the wreck. Reports relayed by First Sgt. David Kinlaw note that Lee was traveling south just before 1 p.m. Friday when the collision occurred. Lee reportedly failed to slow down as his 1996 Jeep approached three stopped vehicles facing south., at the intersection of Browns Church Road.
The Jeep sideswiped a 2010 Toyota passenger car occupied by driver Keelie Febres and passenger Brittany Febres, both of the same Dunn-area address. That caused a chain reaction, with the Toyota striking a 1999 Honda passenger car driven by Ashley Cruz of Clinton, whose car then struck a 2011 GMC SUV being driven by Rickey McMillan of Faison.
After sideswiping the Toyota, Lee’s Jeep crossed the center line and traveled into the northbound lane, clipping a 2002 Chevy pickup being driven by Edward Richardson of Clinton. The Jeep flipped as a result of the collision, coming to rest overturned in the middle of the roadway. The Toyota also came to rest in the middle of the road, but on its wheels. The three other vehicles were driven to the shoulder of the roadway following the wreck.
Kinlaw stated that Lee’s original estimated traveling speed was about 55 mph at the time of impact.
He was transported by emergency personnel to Sampson Regional Medical Center, with what troopers termed “obvious” injuries that were non-life-threatening. Keelie and Brittany Febres were also reportedly transported for minor injuries.
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