One killed, three airlifted after multi-vehicle wreck on U.S. 421

By Chris Berendt - [email protected]

A Sampson County woman was killed and her husband and daughter airlifted following a three-vehicle wreck on U.S. 421 that also injured two other local residents, one of whom was also airlifted for his injuries.

The details of the wreck have not yet been released by the North Carolina Highway Patrol, which continues to investigate the deadly collision. The wreck occurred at 4:40 p.m. Thursday on U.S. 421 (Taylors Bridge Highway), about 5.4 miles south of Clinton, roughly half a mile south of Beaman Woods Road.

The multi-vehicle wreck claimed the life of Vicki Bullard Bass, 67, who was a front passenger in the 2016 Honda Pilot being driven by her husband, Michael “Mike” Bass, also 67. Their daughter Kristy was in the back seat of the vehicle. The family was not far from their home, located on Taylors Bridge Highway. Mike and Kristy were airlifted to WakeMed, where Mike was reportedly in critical condition Friday while Kristy was showing signs of improvement, according to family.

A farmer by trade, Mike Bass was a longtime member of the Sampson County Board of Education and its chairman in 1990s. Vicki worked at Union Elementary School until her retirement.

The other vehicles involved in the wreck included a 2008 Ford Taurus being driven by Rodney Jacob Lewis, 38, of Hobbton Highway, Clinton, and a 2011 Buick Enclave being driven by Melissa Robinson Bass, 34, of Reedsford Road, Clinton. Neither of those vehicles had passengers. Lewis was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Melissa Bass was transported by rescue personnel to Sampson Regional Medical Center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to reports.

The investigation is continuing. Trooper R.S. Smith is the lead investigator, while Sgt. S.F. Cotton was expected to provide details on the wreck later Friday.

Vicki Bass was the 11th person claimed in highway deaths in Sampson County this year, compared to 20 deaths at this point in 2016.

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.