Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beaufort crash kills one.. Loose Trailer

Beaufort crash kills one.

Byline: Jannette Pippin

Jun. 9--BEAUFORT -- A Carteret County woman was killed and two of her family members injured Thursday after a utility trailer carrying lumber came loose and struck their vehicle. Lilly Lawrence Nelson, 70, of the Gloucester community, died at the scene of the fatal collision that occurred on U.S. 70 near East Carteret High School in Beaufort, said Trooper Marvin Shadday of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Nelson was the front passenger in a car driven by her daughter, Lori Lawrence Merkley, 35, also of Gloucester. Her granddaughter, 13-year-old Raina Merkley, was a passenger in the right back seat.

Lori Merkley was transported to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City for treatment of injuries, and Raina Merkley was flown by East Care to Pitt County Memorial in Greenville, where she was in stable condition, Shadday said.

The family was traveling in a 2005 Suzuki west on U.S. 70 when a utility trailer being towed by a pick-up truck traveling in the opposite direction separated from the truck and crossed the center line of the highway, Shadday said.

The utility trailer, which was carrying a load of lumber, struck the car head on. The lumber was thrown onto the car and several pieces went through the windshield, Shadday said. The worst of the impact was on the passenger side of the vehicle where Nelson was sitting, he said. Also injured in the collision was Alene Price Gillikin, 64, of Marshallberg. Gillikin was traveling behind Merkley in a 1997 station wagon and struck the rear end of the car. She was transported to Carteret General Hospital, the Highway Patrol said. The pickup truck, driven by Jordan Erik Swicegood, 26, of Beaufort, was not hit. The investigation of the collision and how the trailer became separated is ongoing and no charges had been filed Thursday, Shadday said. Contact staff writer Jannette Pippin at or by calling (252) 808-2275.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business


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