Accident fatalities on the rise in Columbus County

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A dozen people in Columbus County have died so far this year as a result of a traffic accident.  A total of 26 people died in fatal crashes in 2009, according to Highway Patrol.

Major Lewis Hatcher with the Sheriff's Office says law enforcement officers are doing their best to stop that number from increasing, but said "some people just don't listen."

There was a wreck in Tabor City Monday night that totaled a Nissan Maxima.  The wrecker crew said it was so bad it took them 30 minutes just to pick up pieces of the car off the road.

The passenger, 19-year-old Kuamane McCord, died in the crash.

Though authorities do not believe alcohol contributed to this accident, Columbus County ranks 2nd in the state for the number of DWI related fatalities.

The Dreams Center in Whiteville has a program called SPF-SIG, which is aimed to lower the number of DWI's.

"We've had a youth town hall, trying to educate the youth," said youth director Carol Caldwell.  "We're going to all the municipalities to ask them to adopt April as National Alcohol Awareness Month."

Workers at the Dream Center say they plan to have another town hall meeting to discuss fatal crashes in the summer.

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