No agreement on how to address dangerous Craven County intersection

Published: Feb. 16, 2017 at 1:05 PM EST
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Discussion continues over what to do about a Craven County intersection that has taken the lives of several people.

The Department of Transportation and county officials have differing opinions on what should happen at the crossing of River Road and Nelson Road that would make it safer for drivers.

The intersection just outside of Vanceboro has seen more than its fair share of accidents, including several fatal ones.

Just a few months ago community members, tired of all of the dangerous accidents, created a petition to get the Department of Transportation to recognize that this intersection needs to be changed.

It was after three fatal accidents within just a few weeks of each other at River Road and Nelson Road that DOT conducted an investigation of the intersection to see what changes, if any, could be made to increase safety.

In March DOT traffic engineers presented a possible solution to Craven County officials...closing part Nelson Road where it meets River Road on one side.

Members of the county planning department say that after speaking with first responders at Vanceboro Fire and Rescue and Fort Barnwell Fire and Rescue, the county decided to not support that proposal, and instead sent a new proposal to DOT offering several different suggestions and asking for them to come up with other solutions.

County officials say they would like to see larger stop signs put in place along with big flags that sit on top of the signs. They also suggested warning signs and rumble strips to alert drivers of the intersection.

The biggest change the county says they would like to see is the reconfiguration of the intersection. They would like to see it shifted so it sits at more of a 90 degree angle, giving drivers better line of sight before.

No official decision on what DOT will do has been announced and officials in Craven County say they are still waiting on a response from transportation engineers on the suggestions they offered.

Craven County officials say first responders believe that closing part of Nelson Road could make things worse, and they are hoping DOT will consider their suggestions.


New information about a deadly wreck that claimed the life of a teen and a four year old. The woman driving the children is now facing charges.

The Highway Patrol charged 38 year old Pamela Tello of Chocowinity with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, according to online court records.

Tello is a family friend of the family who was in the minivan with her when troopers say she ran a stop sign at Nelson Road and River Road, near Vanceboro in Craven County.

An oncoming tractor trailer hit the car.

The deadly crash happened February 16th.

16 year old Samantha Anderson and 4 year old Angel Nichols were killed. Angel's twin brother, Edward, and their mother, Sherri Nichols, were injured in the crash, as was Tello.

Online records show she is due in court in May.


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Three people were killed in two different accidents recently at a Craven County intersection and now the Department of Transportation is going to investigate.

The DOT's Brian Rick says it is the Department's practice is to investigate the site of most fatal crashes.

With regard to receiving formal contacts regarding the intersection at Nelson Rd. and River Rd. in Craven County, Rick says after the February 4th fatal collision, they received three contacts from three friends regarding their concerns at the intersection.

He says all were advised that they were going to investigate and would advise of the findings.

Subsequent to the second fatal crash last week where two people were killed, NCDOT also received a request from Craven County officials to investigate this intersection.

This site will be investigated to evaluate if any modifications are justified.

Rick says an unofficial review of crash data found four crashes at this location in the five-year period from January 2012 through December 2016.

The goal is to investigate this site by the end of this month.

Rick says any recommendations will be based on the findings of the investigation.


An Eastern Carolina family is mourning the loss of two siblings who were killed in a car accident on Thursday.

16-year-old Samantha Anderson and 4-year-old Angel Nichols died when the driver of the car they were in ran the stop sign at Nelson Rd. and River Rd. in Craven County. An oncoming tractor trailer hit the car.

Angel's twin brother, Edward, their mother, Sherri Nichols, and the driver, Pamela Tello were also injured in the crash. Tello is a family friend.

Anderson's boyfriend, Jordi Ramirez, says he was driving his car right behind the family when the accident happened.

"I got out of the car running, i went to her car, the first thing I saw was Angel, the little twin, and he was gagging for air...I saw Edward and I took Edward out. He was crying and then I went to the front of the car and I saw Samantha on the floor." he said.

The victims' older brother, Pete Anderson, says "Samantha was sweet, she was outgoing, she was very smart, and she was just a very nice and loving any point in time, you could feel down and she could just walk in the room and brighten up everything."

Ramirez says it is a day he'll never forget.

"She [Samantha] basically meant everything to me. I really loved her," he said.

Anderson says something needs to be done to prevent more tragedy at this intersection, where another woman was killed about two weeks ago.

"I hope they get some caution lights or something that could help save another person's life," he said.

4-year-old Edward Nichols has been released from the hospital and family says his mom, Sherri Nichols is expected to be released tonight.

Hospital officials say Tello is in good condition, but no word on when she'll be released.

Troopers say charges have yet to be filed in the case.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.


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Two people, ages 16 and 4, were killed in what neighbors say is a dangerous intersection in Craven County.

The Highway Patrol says the crash happened around 10:45 a.m. Thurdsay at River Road and Nelson Road, outside of Vanceboro.

Killed was Samantha Anderson, 16, and Angel Nichols, 4, both of Dover.

The two were in a car driven by Pamela Tello, 38, of Chocowinity, and troopers say she didn't yield at a stop sign. The woman's car was hit by an oncoming tractor trailer, according to the Highway Patrol.

Tello, and two other passengers in her car, Sherri Nichols, 40, and Edward Nichols, 4, were all sent to Vidant Medical Center.

An aunt says Angel and Edward were twin brothers, while Sherri Nichols is their mother. Edward and his mother remain hospitalized, according to the aunt.

A gofundme account has been set up by the Anderson family to help with funeral expenses.

Troopers say no charges have yet been filed in the crash.

Just 12 days ago, a Belhaven woman was killed when troopers say her daughter ran a stop sign at the same intersection and hit another vehicle.

Those that live in the neighborhood say the stop sign on Nelson Road is hard to see and want the DOT to consider putting up better signs or blinking lights at the intersection.

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Two more people have died at what residents say is a dangerous intersection in Craven County.

The latest deadly crash at River Road and Nelson Road outside of Vanceboro happened around 10:45 a.m. this morning.

Troopers say two people in a car were killed, while several others were injured in the crash which also involved a tractor trailer.

1st Sgt. Kevin Rock says the car on Nelson Road failed to yield to the tractor trailer which was traveling on River Road.

Back on February 4th, a Belhaven woman was killed when troopers say her daughter ran a stop sign at the intersection and hit another vehicle.

Those that live in the neighborhood say the stop sign on Nelson Road is hard to see and want the DOT to consider putting up better signs or blinking lights at the intersection.