The North Carolina Highway Patrol said that speed was a factor in a single-vehicle crash in Wayne County on the morning of October 10 in which three people from Fremont were killed and a teenager suffered critical personal injuries.


According to troopers, 25-year-old Joshua Brantley, 18-year-old Ashley Hawkins, and 17-year-old Jacob Floars were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which took place on N.C. Highway 222 east of Fremont.


The vehicle’s driver, 17-year-old Mark Pope, received transport to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro before being transferred to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Troopers said he was listed in critical condition.


Floars and Pope are students at Charles B. Aycock Highs School. Hawkins’ mother said that she was to attend nursing school in Virginia.


Troopers said that Pope was driving west in a Honda Civic at rate of speed estimated to be between 80 and 85 mph in a 55 mph zone around 3:30 a.m.


The vehicle crossed the center line multiple times while rounding a curve near Airport Road and ran off the road to the left. It hit a ditch, overturned several times, and came to rest upside down.


Pope was the lone occupant of the vehicle wearing a seat belt.

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