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  • Police identify teen motorcyclist killed in Jacksonville wreck

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Sep 01 2014 11:36:06 AM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 06:17:48 PM CDT

    Police have released the name of a 17-year-old high school student killed after his motorcycle collided with a car in Jacksonville.

    The Jacksonville Police Department said 17-year-old Christopher Leonel Saballos was killed in the wreck in front of a Sonic restaurant at 471 Western Blvd., which happened at about 11:50 a.m. Monday.

    Saballos was a student at Jacksonville High School, an official said. A crisis management team will be at the school Tuesday for grieving students and staff.

    According to police, a 2014 Hyundai was making a left turn out of Sonic onto Western Boulevard to get to N.C. 17. Meanwhile, Saballos was driving his 2008 Honda motorcycle southeast on Western Boulevard.

    But the driver of the Hyundai car, 35-year-old Harris Nathaniel Smith Jr., failed to yield the right of way when making the left turn, causing Saballos' motorcycle to lay down and hit the front left side of Smith's vehicle, police said.

    The 17-year-old Saballos, of Jacksonville, was ejected from his motorcycle and died at the scene, police explained.

    The car driver, Smith, was walking around after the wreck and was treated for his injuries in an ambulance.

    Smith, of Cary, has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and unsafe movement causing serious bodily injury. His bond was set at $2,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15, according to warrants.

    The suspect's passenger in the car was not hurt. That person said the deceased motorcyclist was wearing a helmet.

    Debra Lawrence drove up to Jacksonville on Monday to do some shopping. She knew something was wrong when she saw no vehicles on Western Boulevard.

    "When we got closer, we saw all of the police cars and we knew something had happened," Lawrence recalled. "We saw a body lying on the ground with a sheet over it and we knew that this guy, you know, was dead. We saw his motorcycle and it was all torn up."

    "It's just a tragedy," Lawrence continued. "You know, there's so many accidents with people on motorcycles and people should be more careful and look more than just one time both ways. I just hate that it happened. I just hate it so bad because I know that boy did not do that deliberately."


    A driver has been charged for wreck that killed a 17-year-old motorcyclist in Jacksonville Monday.

    According to warrants from the Jacksonville Police Department, 35-year-old Harris Nathaniel Smith Jr. (pictured above), of Cary, is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and unsafe movement.

    The wreck happened in front of a Sonic restaurant at 471 Western Blvd. just before noon.

    The arrest warrants state that Smith was leaving Sonic and turning left onto Western Boulevard, but did not see the incoming motorcycle, causing a collision that killed the 17-year-old male motorcyclist. The victim's name will not be released until family members are notified.

    Smith was walking around after the crash and was treated for his injuries in an ambulance. He received a $2,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15, the warrants say.

    Smith's passenger was not hurt. The passenger said the deceased motorcyclist was wearing a helmet and was going fast.


    A car and a motorcycle collided in Jacksonville Monday afternoon.

    The wreck happened in front of a Sonic restaurant at 471 Western Blvd.

    Witnesses said a car with two people inside was leaving the Sonic and turning left onto Western Boulevard. That was when a motorcycle going down Western Boulevard collided with the car, said investigators.

    Witnesses said the motorcycle was going very fast.

    Police have not confirmed the status of the motorcyclist, but a white sheet was being held to cover the scene.

    The driver of the car was walking around after the crash and was treated for his injuries in an ambulance, said police. His passenger was not hurt.

    NewsChannel 12 is working to get  more information.

  • Troopers identify man killed in wreck involving tractor-trailer

    By Elizabeth Bynum
    Published On: Sep 01 2014 01:47:41 PM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 05:33:08 PM CDT

    Troopers have identified a man who died after his car was hit by a tractor-trailer in Pitt County Monday afternoon.

    Clifton Wayne Harris, a man in his 70s from Point Harbor in Currituck County, was killed in the wreck, according to the Highway Patrol.

    The accident happened at the intersection of N.C. 118 and Rock Road, about 4 miles east of Grifton, at approximately 2 p.m. Monday.

    Troopers said a tractor-trailer carrying grain was traveling east on N.C. 118 when Harris' Chevy Aveo ran a stop sign at the intersection.

    The driver of the tractor-trailer tried to avoid hitting the Aveo, but could not, troopers said. Harris was killed and his car ended up in a field after the impact.

    The driver of the tractor-trailer will not be charged, troopers said. His truck was hauling grain for Carolina Grain Hauling LLC, based in Farmville.

    It took more than an hour-and-a-half to clear the crash scene and reopen the highway.

  • Family dog alerts mom and child to house fire

    By Anna Bulszewicz
    Leland Pinder
    Published On: Sep 01 2014 04:58:45 AM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 06:11:28 PM CDT

    A pet dog alerted a family to a fire at their Pamlico County home Monday morning.


    A family dog helps a mother and son get to safety during an early morning house fire.

    The fire broke out just before 4 o'clock Monday morning at a home in Grantsboro in Pamlico County. Valerie Lawton says five year old Sena, a pitbull, is a rescue dog. She's been with Lawton and her eight year old son for about a year and a half.

    "I knew right away she was a smart dog," said Lawton.

    Lawton says when the fire broke out smoke detectors in the home were going off but Lawton and her son were asleep and it was Sena, who's loud barking, alerted them to the danger.

    "Sena started barking and raising sand during the night so bad that she woke me up. I woke up, I smelled smoke, I heard poppin' in the ceiling. My first thought was get my child out of this house and get my dog out of this house," recalled Lawton.

    Lawton say Sena is usually shy and a little timid. Longtime friend, Libby McDonald is glad Sena spoke up.

    "I believe this dog saved her and her sons life, I really do," said McDonald.

    Pamlico County Fire Marshal, Chris Murray says the fire was contained to the attic. The home suffered major water and smoke damage. Several friends were at the home Monday helping Lawton clean up and salvage what they could.

    "We're trying to help the best way we can," said McDonald.

    The fire is still under investigation, but Pamlico County fire officials believe the cause may have been electrical.

    PREVIOUS STORY: A pet dog alerted a family to a fire at their Pamlico County home Monday morning.

    There fire happened at a home at 737 Highway 306 North in Grantsboro at about 3:45 a.m. Monday.

    The people inside the house -- Valerie Lawton and her child-- made it out thanks to their rescued pet dog, Sena, who heard the smoke detector before the family did and began barking.

    The fire was contained to the attic, said Fire Marshal Chris Murray. The house suffered smoke and water damage.

    The cause of the fire was still under investigation, Murray said. The Red Cross is helping the family.

  • Camp Lejeune helicopter crashes in waters near Africa

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Sep 01 2014 04:53:09 PM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 06:09:08 PM CDT

    A Camp Lejeune helicopter carrying 25 people crashed Monday in the Gulf of Aden, but all aboard were rescued, the Navy said.

    The 17 Marines and eight Navy sailors were recovered and were on board the USS Mesa Verde, and some who sustained minor injuries were treated on the ship.

    The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter --assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune-- crashed at about 2 p.m GMT (10 a.m. EST) Monday as it attempted to land on the ship, which has a big landing deck on the back, according to the Navy.

    The Navy said the crash was not the result of hostile activity, but the aircraft was transferring troops back to the ship from training in nearby Djibouti in Africa.

    The Navy and Marine Corps are investigating the cause of the crash.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS Mesa Verde into the Persian Gulf earlier this summer as concern grew over the Islamic State terrorist group's advance on Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

    The ship --an amphibious transport dock ship based at Norfolk, Va.-- carries and lands Marines and other troops, their equipment and supplies, aided by helicopters and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

  • Man arrested on heroin trafficking charges

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Aug 31 2014 11:12:41 PM CDT

    The Pamilco County Sheriff's Office says a man has been arrested for trafficking heroin.

    James Williams is charged with two counts of maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for use, storage or sale of a controlled substance which is a felony.

    The sheriff's office says Williams was arrested after someone died at his home Saturday night due to a drug overdose.

    Williams was taken into custody from his home near Reelsboro. Stay with Newschannel12 as we gather more details about his arrest.

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