ECU student gets prison time in crash that killed Sneads Ferry mom

SURF CITY, N.C. (WITN) - An East Carolina University student pled guilty today in connection with a 2018 crash in Pender County that killed a mother and severely injured her young son.

District Attorney Ben David says Travis Luckinbill, 21, of Raleigh, will spend at least three years in prison after his plea to felony serious injury by motor vehicle and felony death by motor vehicle.

The crash happened on October 6, 2018 on Highway 50. Killed was 28-year-old Robin Blankenship, of Sneads Ferry, while her two-year-old son, Jaxon, was seriously injured.

The toddler suffered a skull fracture and was in the hospital for weeks after the crash.

Surf City police say the Raleigh man's vehicle crashed head-on into Blankenship.

The D.A. says blood drawn from Luckinbill showed THC, alprazolam, MDA, and MDMA in his system at the time of the crash.


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An East Carolina University student is facing 15 different charges, including DWI and drug possession, after a crash that killed a Sneads Ferry mother this past weekend.

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. Saturday along Highway 50 in Surf City.

Robin Blankenship's car was hit head-on by another vehicle, driven by Travis Luckinbill, according to Surf City police.

The 20-year-old Raleigh resident was charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, driving after consuming an impairing substance by person less than 21 years of age, driving left of center, possession of unfortified wine by 19/20-year-old, open container of malt beverage, possession of fraudulent ID card, possession of ecstasy, Adderall, Xanax, and marijuana, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

ECU says Luckinbill is a current student and is pursuing an intended major in Management. He has been an ECU student since the fall of 2017.

Police say Luckinbill was released from New Hanover Regional Medical Center today and taken into custody. He was jailed on a $100,000 bond.

Police say Luckinbill's impairment was a contributing circumstance in the fatal crash that also critically injured the woman's two-year-old son.

Greenville police reports show the 20-year-old was arrested a month ago for misdemeanor larceny after they say he stole three cases of beer from a convenience store across from ECU's campus.


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A Sneads Ferry woman was killed in a car crash this weekend in Surf City, according to the Surf City Police Department.

The wreck happened Saturday around 9:30 a.m. along N.C. 50 near Atkinson Point Road.

Robin Blakenship was traveling westbound in a Toyota Prius, when a Jeep Wrangler traveling east went over the center line and collided head on with Blakenship's car, Captain J.S. Johnson said.

Blakenship was pronounced dead at the scene. Her two-year-old son was in the car at the time of the crash and sustained critical injuries. He was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment, police said.

The driver of the Jeep, Travis Luckinbill of Raleigh, and his passenger were also transported to the hospital, according to a press release.

Charges against Luckinbill are pending and an investigation into the wreck is still ongoing.

The Surf City Fire Department, Pender E.M.S. and Fire, N.C. Highway Patrol, Pender County Sheriff's Office and the N.C. A.L.E. all assisted the police department with the crash.