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Troopers identify man killed in Lenoir County head-on crash

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Feb 26 2014 08:40:10 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2014 02:21:12 PM CST
Joseph Shipp
LENOIR COUNTY -

Troopers have identified the man killed in a head-on crash into a dump truck in Lenoir County Wednesday morning.

The Highway Patrol said 27-year-old Joseph Shipp III was killed in the crash. He was formerly enlisted in the military, but left in December. Shipp was originally from Georgia, and moved to Lenoir County two weeks ago, according to investigators.

Troopers have also released the identities of the other two drivers involved: 38-year-old Ben McKeel, of Grifton, was driving the dump truck that Shipp's car crashed into; 20-year-old Christopher Futrell, of Pink Hill, was driving the pickup that ran up under the dump truck. Both suffered non-life threatening injuries and have since returned to their homes, investigators said.

According to troopers, Shipp was driving north on Highway 258, near John Green Smith Road in the Woodington area, when his black car crossed the center line and crashed head-on into McKeel's dump truck hauling a bulldozer.

It happened at about 8:40 a.m. Wednesday about 7 miles southwest of Kinston.

(CLICK for video report.)

(CLICK for more photos of the scene.)

The dump truck jackknifed and went into the shoulder of the left lane, before Futrell's pickup truck ran up under the dump truck, said investigators.

Shipp died at the scene and crews spent several hours removing his body, troopers said.

Investigators told NewsChannel 12 that speed might have been a factor, but they are still looking into what caused Shipp to go left of the center line.

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Investigators said the driver killed after crashing head-on into a dump truck in Lenoir County Wednesday morning is a military member from out of state.

According to the Highway Patrol, a black car was traveling north on Highway 258, near John Green Smith Road in the Woodington area, when the vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a dump truck hauling a bulldozer.

It happened at about 8:40 a.m. Wednesday about 7 miles southwest of Kinston.

(CLICK for more photos of the scene.)

The dump truck jackknifed and went into the shoulder of the left lane, before a small pickup truck ran up under the dump truck, said investigators.

The driver in the black car died at the scene and crews spent several hours removing his body, troopers said. The victim was a military member from out of state, but was stationed in Eastern Carolina, according to troopers. His name has not been released.

The dump truck driver was taken to Lenoir Memorial Hospital, according to investigators. There was no word on that driver's condition.

The 20-year-old man in the pickup truck was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center and appeared to be stable. He suffered a broken leg and other injuries, said Tommy Howard with Southwood Volunteer Fire & Rescue.

Howard said the pick-up truck driver was pinned in for several hours.

"We had to get a big wrecker to pick that dump truck up to get to him. We couldn't even get to him to cut him out," Howard told NewsChannel 12.

Howard said crews were eventually able to cut the driver out after two hours.

No other injuries were reported.

Troopers said they are investigating what caused the driver in the black car to cross the center line.

The southbound lane of Highway 258 in the area of the wreck was closed for a few hours, but has since reopened.

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At least one person has died in a head-on wreck in Lenoir County Wednesday morning, officials said.

The wreck happened at Highway 258 and John Green Smith Road in the Woodington area, about 7 miles southwest of Kinston.

According to Roger Dail, director of Lenoir County Emergency Services, there is at least one fatality in the head-on wreck. Three vehicles were involved. There is no word on how many others are injured.

The identities of those involved have not been released.

Dail said the southbound lane of Highway 258 in the area of the wreck has been closed.

Investigators are looking into what caused the crash.