Victims killed in Onslow County head-on crash identified

POSTED: 4:13 PM May 03 2013   UPDATED: 10:51 PM May 04 2013
RICHLANDS, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Investigators have released the names of the victims killed in an Onslow County head-on crash Friday afternoon.

According to the Highway Patrol, Sherry Ellis, 43, of Rocky Mount, was driving her blue Kia northbound on Highway 258, near A.I. Taylor Road, when her car crossed the center line and hit a Ford Explorer head-on. Edward Johnson, 73, of Franklin, Va., and his dog were inside that S.U.V., investigators said. The wreck happened at about 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Both Ellis and Johnson were killed, troopers said. In addition, the passenger in the Kia, Bobbie Jo Bateman, 43, Rocky Mount, was taken to a hospital in Wilmington.

Johnson's dog did survive the crash, according to investigators.

Troopers said alcohol and speed were not factors.

Friday's double-fatal wreck happened at the same place where a New River Marine was killed less than two weeks before.

On April 22, Christopher Jonas Navarro, 18, lost control of his car and hit a culvert in a ditch, ejecting him, trooper said. He died at the scene, just two weeks before his 19th birthday.

Elaine Shepard lives in the area where the wrecks happened. She told NewsChannel 12 that the road has a deadly reputation.

“It was devastating because it brought back memories of the accident that happened here in 1977,” said Shepard. “In 1977, there were five marines; they came around the curve, that same curve. Four of them died, one did live. But the front of the car was split in half. The front of it kept going, hit our vehicles, and then two more bounced out and went through my trailer at that time.

“We've seen so many deadly accidents People need to slow down, watch the road, watch for other drivers, [and] be prepared to stop because this is a busy road."