Two people suffered fatal personal injuries in separate automobile accidents within a 24-hour period according to authorities.


One person died on the morning of October 18 when the sport utility vehicle he was riding in ran off the road near Dudley, authorities said.


North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J.S. Smith said that six people were traveling to a farm for work around 7 a.m. when the driver lost control of the vehicle on Herring Road.


Smith said 19-year-old Dudley resident Jose Vasquez was sleeping in the back seat and not wearing his seat belt. He was ejected and died in the accident.


Another passenger, 26-year-old Goldsboro resident Carolina Rodriguez, was also not wearing a seat belt and was ejected, Smith said. She sustained serious injuries and received air transport to Pitt Memorial Hospital.


The vehicle’s driver, 31-year-old Mount Olive resident Mercedes Vasquez, and three other passengers were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital for injuries not considered to be life-threatening.


Troopers charged Mercedes Vasquez with death by motor vehicle and driving without a license.


Authorities said a woman from Mount Olive in a separate crash late on October 17.


According to authorities, 37-year-old Kristy Jernigan Lee was southbound on U.S. Highway 117 when her vehicle struck another vehicle head-on.


Authorities say the other vehicle was trying to pass a third vehicle in a no-passing zone when the collision took place.


No information was immediately made available concerning the driver of the other vehicle or any passengers or possible charges.

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