NEW INFO: Elderly Driver Facing Charge In Work Zone Accident

An elderly driver will be charged in a Wednesday morning accident that injured a flagman in a construction zone.

State troopers say 91-year-old Matthew Carpenter of Sneads Ferry will be charged with failure to reduce speed. The Highway Patrol says the man hasn't been served yet.

Carpenter was traveling on U.S. 17 in Jones County when witnesses say he struck Ervin Herring of New Bern who was directing traffic.

Herring was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital where at last check he was listed in stable condition.


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The Highway Patrol says Ervin Herring of New Bern was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital with serious injuries after the accident on U.S. 17 in Jones County.

Troopers say charges are still pending against 91-year-old Matthew Carpenter of Sneads Ferry.

Witnesses told troopers that Herring was thrown into the air by the accident. They say Carpenter swerved his pickup to avoid the flagman who was struck on the right side of the truck.

The accident happened around 10:05 a.m. on the U.S. 17 bypass project. The man injured was a contract worker, not a DOT employee.

Officials want to remind drivers to slow down especially in a work zone.

Residents who live nearby say this area is prone to accidents.


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Troopers say charges are pending against the driver of a vehicle that struck a construction worker in Jones County.

Authorities say the worker was struck while flagging traffic on Highway 17 in Jones County.

Neil Lassiter, an NC DOT division engineer, said a flag man on the Highway 17 bypass project was struck by a vehicle.

He said the flag man is a contract worker, not an NC DOT worker.

The worker was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Beachbum3 on Aug 14, 2010 at 08:48 AM
    While there are some issues involved in this matter that i do agree with there are also issues that i dont agree with elderly people still have to drive to get grocerys an get medical treatments an other issues regaurdless of how old they are . but perhaps more frequently testing for a drivers license would be the right thing to do after a person reaches a really advanced age of say 75 to 80 an older . perhaps the answer is to restric them to only local driving within their own town limits an the local surrounding areas for doctors appointments so up to the distance of 60 miles an then for daylight driving only thank you
  • by Lori Location: Eastern NC on Aug 13, 2010 at 07:32 PM
    I'm sorry but I have to disagree with everyone on the age thing. I feel that everyone no matter what age they are should have to retake a driving test at least every four years. I would love to know why this driver had to swerve to try and keep from hitting this worker. I agree that there is drivers out there who has no reguard to road construction, but there is also road construction workers out there who has no reguard for the cars passing by. Was this worker standing where he was suppose to be? My prayers and thoughts goes out to all involved in this accident.
  • by neel on Aug 13, 2010 at 02:52 PM
    To "Me @ Greenville Aug 12 1:10 a.m " You are SO wrong. Go back to bed. You shouldn't be up this late.
  • by booboo on Aug 13, 2010 at 01:54 PM
    The article states that the driver will be ticketed for SPEED. No where does it say that it was due to inattentive driving, age, etc. If this was a teenager, everyone would be saying that they are too young to drive, texting, talking, singing, putting on makeup, shaving - whatever. Sometimes things just happen no matter how good a driver you are!
  • by blake Location: gville on Aug 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM
    So many DOT workers are struck by drivers below 25 years old...finally a senior citizen does it and now people want no one over 65 to drive
  • by Theresa Location: Williamston on Aug 13, 2010 at 09:58 AM
    I am thankful the man who was accidently hit will be ok and feel sorry for the man who hit him.I can't imagine what it must feel like to know I almost killed someone.They will both be in my prayers.I work in the construction field and I see the disregard some drivers have road workers.Please people, slow down and pay attention.Surely a life is worth a few extra minutes of your time.I think everyone should have to renew their license every 3 yrs with testing. People of all ages develop hearing & eye problems as well as other physical problems.But more than that, drivers are so busy talking on the phone and texting that they do not give enough attention to what they should be doing...DRIVING.The road has enough hazards of its own without drivers adding more. N.C. passed a law that now people 66 & under renew every 8 yrs. and 66 & older every 5 yrs.How crazy is that?People, please keep your undivided attention on the road.The life you save MAY be your own!Maybe your child's. SAFETY FIRST!!
  • by OutsideLookingIn Location: ENC on Aug 13, 2010 at 09:33 AM
    He should be charged. He should have his license revoked until he takes another driving test with DMV riding with him (how scarey). On the flip side, should they jail a 91 yr. old man, give him community service, or take all his money by a large fine? What's the answer to his punishment?
  • by Mom Location: NC on Aug 13, 2010 at 08:16 AM
    Prayers to both the worker and the driver. EVERYONE makes mistakes and MOST of us have had a accident. Do not blame age. If people are more inclined to accidents than DO NOT ALLOW OUR TEENS a license anymore! They are the ones to be afraid of not the elderly!
  • by Curious Location: Greenville on Aug 13, 2010 at 07:51 AM
    I don't think just because you are 91 that your license should be taken away, but I do think that once you hit senior age you should have to take a regular driving test. Some very old people drive very well and obviously some don't. I agree with one of the comments below that if the flagger wasn't in the right position and wasn't doing their job correctly then it is their fault they got hit, but if he was in the right spot and still got hit then the woman should be charged.
  • by wow on Aug 12, 2010 at 04:13 PM
    Someone please tell me why in the world was a 91!!!! year old man doing driving? This is frigging insane. I know darn well his eye sight and hearing are for sure impaired. After the age of 70 you should have to take a driving test as well as eye test EVERY YEAR!! And the written test!!
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