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Description of suspect's car in fatal 4-vehicle crash released

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Mar 05 2014 11:29:57 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2014 07:37:13 PM CST
PITT COUNTY -

Investigators have released a description of the car they say caused a fatal four-vehicle wreck in Pitt County, killing a veteran.

The Highway Patrol said troopers are looking for a black Nissan Altima. The year of the model is unknown.

A woman injured in Wednesday morning's wreck, 63-year-old Yattie Williams, said she had a quick look of the suspect in the Nissan Altima. Williams said the suspect is a young black woman with shoulder-length curly hair.

Anyone with information on the driver's whereabouts is asked to call the Highway Patrol office in Greenville at 252-758-5300.

The man killed in the wreck has been identified by troopers as 51-year-old Tony Leon Leonard, of Rocky Mount. He was riding in  a "Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network" van that Williams was driving.

The wreck happened at about 11:16 a.m. Wednesday on N.C. 43 near Short Bridge Road, about 2 miles southeast of Falkland.

According to the Highway Patrol, the suspect's black car was traveling north on N.C. 43 when the driver tried to pass another vehicle. This caused four other drivers in the opposite lane to slam the brakes, troopers said.

"She waited until the last minute to pull out. With all of this traffic going south and all of this traffic going north. And she made a stupid mistake and she caused Tony to lose his life," said Williams.

A red vehicle then hit a white SUV, which spun out into the northbound lane and hit the DAV van, said investigators. The white SUV also hit a white Honda.

The DAV van flipped as a result of the impact. Williams, who was driving that van, recalled what happened.

"All I remember is that van-- just flipping, flipping, flipping. It sounded like we were flying in the air," Williams said. "Glass was going everywhere, and I didn't think it was gonna ever stop."

After the DAV van came to rest upside down on the side of N.C. 43, Williams was trapped. She said she thought she was going to die, so she talked to the Lord.

"Forgive me for everything I've done, no matter what it is, forgive me. Because I don't wanna die like this," Williams said.

Williams said she also remembered seeing Leonard beside her after the wreck.

"I'm looking at him laying next to me, dead. And I can't shake it. I can't get it out of my mind. It's just... it's tearing me up," said Williams. "He was a great man. And I'm gonna miss him. I'm gonna really, really miss him."

Williams was taken to Vidant Medical Center after the wreck, but has since been released. Another person went to a doctor's office for treatment, troopers said. No one else was seriously injured.

The driver of the red vehicle that hit the white SUV, 30-year-old Jamie Warren, has been charged with a count of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, troopers said.

Warren is charged because the three vehicles in front of her were able to slow down in time to let the black Nissan return to the northbound lane, the Highway Patrol told NewsChannel 12. But Warren rear-ended the white SUV, which caused the DAV van to flip, investigators said.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Troopers have identified the man killed in a four-vehicle crash in Pitt County Wednesday morning. One driver has been charged, but the person who caused the chain-reaction wreck is still at large, said investigators.

According to the Highway Patrol, 51-year-old Tony Leon Leonard, of Rocky Mount, was killed in the wreck on N.C. 43 near Short Bridge Road, about 2 miles southeast of Falkland. He was riding in  a "Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network" van when the wreck happened at about 11:16 a.m. Wednesday.

(CLICK HERE: More photos of four-vehicle wreck.)

Charged in the wreck is 30-year-old Jamie Warren, who is facing a count of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, troopers said.

Investigators said a black car was traveling north on N.C. 43 when its driver tried to pass another vehicle. This caused the drivers of four vehicles in the opposite lane to slam the brakes, troopers said.

A red vehicle, driven by Warren, then hit a white SUV, which spun out into the northbound lane and hit the DAV van, said investigators. The white SUV also hit a white Honda.

The DAV van flipped as a result of the impact. Leonard, who was a passenger inside that van, died from his injuries, troopers said.

Najee Hanson, the driver of the Honda, said he tried to help Leonard out of the DAV van.

"It was hard watching somebody in pain, and you can't help them. You're trying your best and you can't help them. That's... that's bad, bad. Have me feeling real bad," said Hanson.

The driver of the DAV van, 63-year-old Yattie Williams, was taken to Vidant Medical Center, where she was listed in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

Another person went to a doctor's office for treatment. No one else was seriously injured.

Troopers said they are still looking for the driver of the black vehicle that started the chain-reaction wreck. A more detailed description of the vehicle has not been released. Anyone with information is asked to call the Highway Patrol office in Greenville at 252-758-5300.

"It's frustrating to know that the person may have known this wreck happened and didn't stop," said Sgt. Gary Weaver of the Highway Patrol.

PREVIOUS STORY:

A man inside a "Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network" van was killed in a four-vehicle wreck in Pitt County Wednesday.

The wreck happened on N.C. 43 near Short Bridge Road, about 2 miles southeast of Falkland. First responders got the call at about 11:16 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the Highway Patrol, a black car was traveling north on N.C. 43 when its driver tried to pass another vehicle. This caused the drivers of four vehicles in the opposite lane to slam the brakes, troopers said.

A red vehicle then hit a white SUV, which spun out into the northbound lane and hit the DAV van., said investigators. The White SUV also hit a white Honda.

The DAV van flipped as a result of the impact and the man inside died, troopers said. The deceased victim's identity has not been released.

Three other people were taken to a hospital, said investigators. Their names and conditions are unknown.

Troopers said they are still looking for the driver of the black vehicle that caused the wreck. A more detailed description of the vehicle has not been released.

PREVIOUS STORY:

One person has died in a four-vehicle wreck in Pitt County Wednesday morning, investigators said.

According to the Highway Patrol, the wreck happened at N.C. 43 and Short Bridge Road, about 2 miles southeast of Falkland.

Troopers said one person was killed in the four-vehicle wreck. But the victim's identity has not been released. There is no word on whether anyone else was injured or how the wreck happened.

NewsChannel 12 is heading to the scene to get more details.