WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) – Three people, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed in a multi-vehicle collision on N.C. 410 in Columbus County early Tuesday morning.
State Highway Patrol troopers responded to the wreck at around 4:15 a.m. According to a news release provided by a spokesperson for the state agency, investigators determined a Nissan Armada SUV driven by 55-year-old Steven Wayne McDonald, of Frederick, Maryland, crossed the center line while traveling south on N.C. 410 and hit a utility trailer being towed by a Dodge pickup truck traveling north.
After impact, the news release stated, McDonald’s vehicle continued into the northbound lane and hit a Nissan Maxima head-on. Both vehicles came to rest in the roadway, at which point they were hit by a Ford Fusion driving northbound.
In total, McDonald had four passengers, all of whom were also from Maryland, in his vehicle. The back middle passenger in his vehicle, 8-year-old Lacey Wilson, was killed. The front right passenger, 58-year-old Deborah Jane Montouri, was laying on the shoulder of the road in knee-high grass when first responders arrived and was run over by a fire truck, according to the news release.
“Investigators are working with the Medical Examiner’s office to determine the actual cause of death for Ms. Montouri before deciding upon charges,” the release stated.
The driver of the Nissan Maxima, 45-year-old Eric Lavon Freeman, of Leland, was also killed in the crash.
McDonald and his two surviving passengers, the driver of the Ford Fusion and the driver of the Dodge pickup were all taken to Grand Strand Regional in South Carolina with serious injuries.
McDonald has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. The collision is still under investigation.
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