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Four Killed, Several Injured In Johnston County Drag Race

File photo of a North Carolina State trooper.
Ildar Sagdejev
Wikipedia Creative Commons

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a drag racing crash that killed four and left several injured in Johnston County Sunday night. Sergeant Michael Baker said there are many sanctioned drag strips in the state, but drag racing is illegal on public roads.

"We just ask the motoring public to use good common sense, good judgment, and understand that these prearranged speed competitions, as well as spontaneous speed competitions, can lead to serious injury or death," Baker said.

Baker said one of the two drivers in Sunday's incident, 37-year-old Jimmy Pearce II,  has been charged with at least three counts of second-degree murder. He said Pearce was driving at high speeds westbound on Simon Road alongside another driver when Pearce lost control of his car and hit several bystanders before crashing into a tree.

"With his vehicle striking those pedestrians standing on the side of the highway, unfortunately four individuals lost their life, and three were transported to WakeMed with very serious conditions," Baker said.

Baker identified those killed as Carlton Ray Brooks, 42, whose address is unknown; Arrington Earp, 23, address unknown; Garland Earp, 39, address unknown; and Undra Montrell Taybron, 40, of Wilson.

Ida Mae Rapa, 42, of Selma is listed in critical condition after the collision. Roncellis Marshall, 44, of Battleboro and Larry Deans, 43, of Bailey were transported to WakeMed after receiving several serious injuries from the crash.

State Highway Patrol is encouraging people who have information on the second driver in the crash to call 1-800-662-7956.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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