Charges pending in deadly U.S. 701 wreck

By: By Chris Berendt -

Charges are pending against a Four Oaks man in a deadly head-on collision Wednesday on U.S. 701, according to N.C. Highway Patrol authorities in Sampson.

The collision occurred at 4:49 a.m. Wednesday on U.S. 701, about two-tenths of a mile north of Ezzell Road.

According to reports, Richard Alfonso Huerta, 27, of Four Oaks was traveling southbound on U.S. 701 when his 2012 Toyota passenger car pulled into oncoming traffic in an attempt to pass a tractor-trailer that was transporting hogs. Huerta attempted the pass in a no-passing zone, striking a 2008 Dodge passenger car being driven northbound by Scott Burnett, 54, of Bladenboro, reports state.

Burnett died of fatal injuries sustained in the head-on wreck. Huerta was transported by medical personnel to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Charges are currently pending against Huerta.

The early-morning wreck Wednesday brings the total number of traffic deaths on Sampson County roadways to 16 in 2015, with the last one occurring on Aug. 13. That number is nearly double the total deaths on Sampson roads in all of 2014, which saw nine fatalities.

Since the beginning of July, there have been six deadly wrecks in Sampson claiming a total of seven lives.

By Chris Berendt