A North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper says that speed an alcohol were factors in a January 23 crash in which a 19-year-old man from Wilmington suffered fatal personal injuries.
According to Trooper B.R. Phillips, John Edward Rossi was the passenger in a 2002 Toyota pickup truck that crashed shortly after 1 a.m. He was wearing his seat belt, but was killed in the crash.
Phillips said the driver, 19-year-old Travis Middaugh, was eastbound on Murrayville Road when he crossed the center line as he was crossing a bridge. Phillips said tire markings on the road indicated that Middaugh was able to bring the vehicle back to the right side of the road, but jerked back to the left. The vehicle ran off the road, went through a ditch, and struck four trees.
According to Phillips, Middaugh was driving at an estimated speed of 80 mph in a 45 mph zone and had consumed alcohol. He received hospital transport for injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Phillips said the crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.