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2 killed in head-on wreck on I-74 in Surry County (US deaths in 2006 near 35,000)
Winston-Salem Journal ^ | 9/29/06 | Patrick Wilson

Posted on 09/29/2006 4:03:22 PM PDT by Libloather

2 killed in wreck on I-74 in Surry County
Elderly Mount Airy driver was in wrong lanes, patrol says
By Patrick Wilson

A woman from Mount Airy drove the wrong way on Interstate 74 last night and collided with an oncoming car, killing both her and a man from Ohio driving the other vehicle, authorities said.

It was the second fatal collision involving a car traveling the wrong way on a four-lane way highway in northwestern North Carolina this week.

The woman killed last night, who was in her 80s, was driving west in the eastbound lanes of I-74 about two miles west of U.S. 601. Her Honda Accord collided with a Volkswagen Jetta driven by a 21-year-old man at 10:18, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

The names of the victims were not released because next of kin were still being notified.

The man was dead when paramedics arrived and the woman died at the scene shortly after the wreck, said patrol Sgt. Kevin Barker.

Moments before the wreck, troopers were called about a vehicle going the wrong way in the eastbound lanes.

The collision demolished both cars and was so severe that the engine in the Jetta was thrown 50 feet. Both drivers were traveling about the 65-mph speed limit, Barker said.

He said that the woman was apparently confused and said that it was unclear where she got on I-74. He said she lived a few miles away from the scene of the wreck.

"She thought she was going home," Barker said. "She got confused somewhere and got on the interstate going in the wrong direction."

The nearest exit is U.S. 601, more than a mile away.

The eastbound lanes were closed while authorities cleaned up the wreckage. The road was reopened about midnight.

Rescue workers looked in amazement at the demolished cars as they were loaded onto a wrecker.

It appeared that the man tried to swerve to avoid the collision and the Accord hit his car on the passenger side.

"This poor kid, at the very last minute, he tried to avoid it and his car took the brunt of the impact," said Lt. Tim Eldridge of the Mount Airy Rescue Squad. "The impact killed him. He did have his seat belt on."

On Tuesday night, Jose Wilber Reyes, 22; Abelardo Hernandez Ramirez, 36; and Jose Lopez Romero, 23, were killed in a similar wreck that happened just west of the Yadkin River on U.S. 421. All the men were from Greensboro.

They got on U.S. 421 at Shallowford Road and drove in the wrong direction.

Grant Summerford was driving the other car. He was injured in the wreck, as was a passenger, Eric Nicholson. Both men are students at Appalachian State University. They were listed in good condition at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center early today.

An autopsy on Reyes will determine whether he had been drinking. Two empty alcohol containers were found in his car, according to the highway patrol.

The trooper who investigated that wreck said that family members of the men who died said they did not know why they were driving in Forsyth County.

TOPICS: Local News
KEYWORDS: 000; 2; 2006; 35; county; deaths; headon; i74; killed; surry; us; wreck
Y'all be careful out there...

1 posted on 09/29/2006 4:03:26 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather

By these statistics, its safer in Baghdad.

2 posted on 09/29/2006 4:06:30 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Libloather

I don't know what's going on, but you don't hear nearly as much about folks driving the wrong way in the eastern part of the state.

3 posted on 09/29/2006 4:06:41 PM PDT by wimpycat (Hyperbole is the opiate of the activist wacko.)
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To: Libloather
That story about the confused lady (in her 80's) is what terrifies me, especially when I take a long-distance trip. There's not much you can do when you encounter a car traveling in the wrong direction when you're wheeling along at 65-70 mph.

I hope that I have the wisdom to just hand in my drivers license when I reach an age at which I cannot handle the complexities of driving. Unfortunately, too many people just refuse to do so.

4 posted on 09/29/2006 4:40:28 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum

My mother is one of those old ladies who should not be driving but refuses to admit it and I can't get my brothers to back me up on pushing the issue. I tried.

5 posted on 09/29/2006 4:55:54 PM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: Integrityrocks

Two words: battery cable.

6 posted on 09/29/2006 5:00:38 PM PDT by LearsKent
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To: Integrityrocks
...old ladies who should not be driving...

I have a question, in all seriousness. Does it make any difference if the elderly person is a woman or a man?

Also, what states, if any, have laws against driving after a certain age? I asked this question on another response yet.

7 posted on 09/29/2006 10:01:36 PM PDT by IIntense
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