Three killed in motorcycle-pickup collision near Smithfield

From staff reportsOctober 22, 2012 

— SMITHFIELD -- Three people were killed in a motorcycle accident on Buffalo Road at U.S. 70 on Sunday evening.

The accident occurred about 7:20 p.m. when the driver of a pickup truck made a left turn off U.S. 70 onto Buffalo Road in front of the motorcycle, which hit the driver’s side door. The driver of the pickup, Ralph Rose, 84, of Smithfield, died instantly, said Trooper C.P. Oravitz of the State Highway Patrol.

“He was wearing a seatbelt,” Oravitz said. “He just got hit in the right spot.”

The driver of the motorcycle, Rickey Mooneyhan, 45, of Selma, died at the scene; his passenger, Jennifer Sabato, 36, was taken to WakeMed hospital in Raleigh and died at 1 a.m. Monday. All three died of blunt force trauma, Oravitz said.

Investigators determined that while Rose pulled in front of the motorcycle, Mooneyhan was driving above the speed limit, Oravitz said.

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