NC Trooper: Speed factor in crash that killed two men near Wendell

amoody@newsobserver.comApril 28, 2014 

— The driver of a car that spun out of control on Corbin Road, killing himself and his passenger on Saturday night, may have been going 100 mph just before the accident, according to a state trooper.

Tyler Ray Bartholomew of Wendell, 20, and his passenger, 47-year-old Randy William Jernigan of Franklinton, were pronounced dead at the scene, just east of Wendell. Neither was wearing a seat belt, law officials said.

Investigators say Bartholomew was driving too fast into a turn while heading north on Corbin Road near Morphus Bridge Road just before 9 p.m. He forced a Ford Crown Victoria off the left side of the road, over-corrected and ran off the right side.

The car spun out of control as it dropped off two embankments, crossing a driveway and striking a tree in mid-air. There were 270 feet of skid marks on the road, and the vehicle traveled an additional 130 feet off the road before coming to a rest between a cluster of pine trees.

Investigating Trooper D.A. Cuff on Sunday had yet to determine exactly how fast Bartholomew was traveling, but indicated speed was a factor in the accident.

“If I had to estimate, I’d say at least 100. That’s just eyeballing,” Cuff said. “It’s a slight little curve. It really wasn’t sharp.

“If you aren’t going through it fast you shouldn’t have a problem getting through it,” he said.

Bartholomew was partially ejected from the car, Cuff said. He described the car as mangled.

The trooper said it does not appear alcohol or drugs were involved, but said he was waiting on the results of a toxicology report.

Moody: 919-829-4806; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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