Lumber Bridge, NC Car and Truck Collision, Apr 1976


By C. E. McLaurin
Robesonian Staff Writer.

Lumber Bridge - Two people were killed in a violent collision of a small automobile and a transfer truck at the intersection of N.C. 20 and N.C. 71 shortly after 5 p.m. Friday.
North Carolina State Highway Patrolman H. S. Matthews said that DAVID W. SPRAGUE, 23, of Providence College, Providence, R.I., and SHIRLA KAY LANTZ, 23, of 665 Fairway Drive, Southern Pines, N.C., were killed instantly when the vehicle they were occupying was struck broadside by a truck at 5:10 p.m. Friday.
The operator of the truck, identified as JAMES WALTER McDOWELL, 38, of Rt. 1, Hope Mills, N.C., was injured in the accident but his injuries were not believed to be serious. He was treated at Southeastern General Hospital Emergency Room for the minor injuries and was released.
State Trooper Matthews said in his report that the automobile, which was being operated by SPRAGUE, was traveling west on N.C. 20 and apparently did not stop at the N.C. 71 intersection.
The truck, being driven by McDOWELL, was headed south on N.C. 71 and hit the automobile almost dead center in its' right side when the car passed directly in the truck's path.
The truck, which was not loaded with any cargo, stopped some 200 feet down the road with the small automobile pinned to its front.
Members of the Red Springs Rescue Squad assisted a St. Pauls wrecker in freeing the car from the truck so that the bodies could be removed by ambulance personnel.
The Lumber Bridge Volunteer Fire Department was also summoned to the scene in the event fire erupted from the ruptured gasoline tank of the automobile.
An eyewitness said that the truck driver apparently wasn't speeding in the 25 m.p.h. zone when the mishap occurred and that the small car never even slowed down for the stop sign at the intersection.
Trooper Matthews said that no charges would be filed against McDOWELL pending some further development in the investigation of the traffic accident.
The truck was damaged an estimated $2,500.
The automobile was demolished.

The Robesonian Lumberton North Carolina 1976