Authorities in Lenoir County connected a wreck on the night of September 25 near the intersection of Kennedy Home Road and U.S. Highway 70 East to the explosion of an apparent meth lab a few minutes prior to the accident.
Members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office discovered four people, two men and two women, all in their 20s, at the scene of a two-car collision. They were suffering from second- and third-degree burns that were not caused by the wreck, according to Captain Jim Oldenburg of the sheriff’s office.
Three of the victims, 25-year-old Kinston resident Crystal Susan Martinez, 28-year-old Kinston resident Lea Ann Oglesby, and 25-year-old West Trenton resident Samuel Bullock, were listed in critical condition at the UNC-Chapel Hill Medical School’s Jaycee Burn Center as of September 27. The fourth, 26-year-old Kinston resident Jason Forbes, was listed in serious condition.
Officers were responding to a report of an explosion on Sutton Loop Road in La Grange when they received the call about the wreck.
According to Oldenburg, firefighters found that a utility building had exploded on Sutton Loop Road. Sheriff’s deputies searched the premises and discovered evidence that it had been utilized as a meth lab.
Oldenburg said the four appeared to have left the building together, but it is uncertain if they were seeking medical attention or attempting to flee law enforcement when they crashed into another vehicle.