The northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 1 just north of Southern
Pines were shut down by a fatal car wreck Wednesday night.
Authorities confirmed the drivers of both vehicles were killed
in the head-on collision that happened around 10:38 p.m.
Highway Patrol Trooper Joel McDonald said Jasmine Wicker, 20, of
Sanford was headed north on the highway when she and an SUV crashed.
McDonald said Terrell Abbott, 36, was driving the SUV in the
wrong direction – headed south in the northbound lane of the highway. McDonald
said Abbott was from Austin, Texas.
Fort Bragg Public
Affairs said Abbott was previously in the military, but he was not active duty.
McDonald said it is
unclear why or how long Abbott had been going the wrong way. There was no
immediate sign of alcohol being involved, and toxicology results will take
"I knew from a mile
away that it was not going to have a good outcome," said Frank Staples
with Cypress Point Fire and Rescue.
He was the first
firefighter to arrive at the accident scene. He is also a photographer, so when
more responders arrived he started taking photos.
"Over the years I've
seen some bad ones… This was one of the bad ones," Staples said.
The SUV flipped on its
side and was on fire. Southern Pines Fire Chief Hampton Williams said firefighters
knew immediately that both drivers had died.
"We haven't had fatalities
out in that area in a really long time. So driving up on two fatalities was the
last thing I expected to see," Williams said. "The metal and the plastic and
the parts that came off the cars was just everywhere. It looked like a bomb had
gone off, which I guess in a sense it did."
Williams said the accident
hit a little closer to home than most. He has a daughter who's close in age to
"Here was a young
girl who's life has been snuffed out. She'll never get a chance to enjoy life
and grow up," Williams said. "So yeah, from that standpoint it was a little
closer to home."