A terrible, two-car collision between a Honda Accord and an SUV on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010, on Harkers Island Road near Beaufort, North Carolina, caused the heart-breaking loss of the lives of two teenagers and injuries to six other people:
Miles Moorman, the driver of the 1999 Honda, and passenger Brantley Pearce, both 18 years old, were killed.
Two girls in the back seat – Kristen Michelle Terry, 18, and Kimberly Ann Frey, 17, both of Durham – were severely injured. They were airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Terry was listed in good condition on Monday; Frey was listed as fair.
The driver of the 1998 SUV, Christopher Yeomans, 45, of Beaufort, his wife Kathy, 49, daughter Caroline Yeomans, 14, and Jaden Fulcher, 14, were injured.
Yeomans, who is a principal at Smyrna Elementary School, and his daughter were treated and released from Carteret General Hospital. Jaden was admitted at Carteret. Kathy Yeomans, who suffered two broken legs, was taken to Pitt Memorial.
Failure to yield to oncoming traffic by Moorman was probably the cause of the crash, according to the Highway Patrol. They reported that Moorman, driving the Honda south on Harkers Island Road 10 miles east of Beaufort, tried to turn left at the “Y” intersection with Straits Road. The Honda was hit almost head-on by Yeomans’ 1998 Chevy SUV, which was towing a boat.
One thing that is so sad to hear is that the two girls in the Honda were not wearing their seat belts. It is likely that their injuries would have been less severe if they had been buckled up.
Something we can learn from this incident is to be extra cautious when driving on vacation. The teenagers were heading back to Durham from a beach trip, traveling unfamiliar roads. A trooper and a fire chief from the nearby community of Otway described the Y intersection where the crash occurred as “tricky,” even though another trooper said he has not seen a wreck there for the past 18 years. But one local resident interviewed on TV said, “That intersection is tricky for us that live around here; you know it’s even worse for somebody who doesn’t know these roads.”
More than 200 people attended a vigil for Pearce and Moorman on Sunday night at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Durham, according to a report by the News & Observer.
A high school friend described the pair:
“Brantley was that guy who could light anybody up; he was the type of person who would give up the shirt on his back,” she said. “Miles wasn’t as loud and crazy … He was very sweet and very loving and would do anything for anybody.”