Driver Charged After One Dead, Two Injured In I-95 Crash Near Benson

One teenager from Virginia died and two others suffered personal injuries in an accident on Interstate 95, just south of Exit 79 in Benson.

The crash was the only fatality in the area during the recent graduation weekend.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says that 18-year-old Jesse Wood Sheppard died after being ejected from the vehicle driven by 19-year-old Robert Corns.

The teens and another passenger, 19-year-old Christopher Bryce Howell, were northbound en route to Virginia while returning from a road trip when Corns clipped a vehicle in the left lane while attempting to make a lane change.

The impact forced Corns’ vehicle off the right side of the road, where it overturned multiple times and ejected Sheppard from the back seat of the vehicle. He was the only one not wearing a seat belt.

Corns and Howell were both injured in the crash and received transport to WakeMed. Corns was released after treatment, but Howell remained and was listed in good condition as of June 15.

The other vehicle’s driver was uninjured.

Police charged Corns with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. He was released on $5,000 bail.

Area Highway Patrol offices say the accident was the only fatality to occur over a weekend in which hundreds of students graduated from high schools in the area.

According to Harnett County Highway Patrol Sgt. Vincent Terry, fatal accidents in the area have decreased by half so far in 2009, a trend he hopes will continue now that school is out for the summer and more drivers will be on the roads.

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