The driver of a vehicle investigators believe caused a three-vehicle crash south of Lillington was discharged from a hospital in Fayetteville, where he was undergoing treatment for his personal injuries, but he now faces charges for his role in the crash.


After receiving transport to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, 38-year-old Spring Lake resident Ratcliffe Watson was released from the hospital after undergoing treatment. The crash took place on N.C. 210.


Officers say they believe Watson was northbound when he attempted to pass a car driven by 59-year-old Spring Lake resident Serena Valentina Aguinaga. As he tried to pass, he saw another car coming toward him in the southbound lane. He attempted to swerve back into the northbound lane, but collided with Aguinaga’s vehicle.


Watson’s vehicle then went out of control and struck a vehicle driven by 38-year-old Lillington resident John Lawrence Kerns. The impact nearly left Watson’s vehicle split in half.


North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Vince Terry said the other drivers suffered only minor injuries.


According to Terry, Watson has been charged with reckless driving and improper passing.

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