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Saturday accident claims life

CONWAY – A single-vehicle accident near here Saturday caused the death of a Northampton County man.

Otis Long, 67, of Pleasant Hill died at the scene of the accident, which occurred on US 158, approximately 2.2 miles east of Conway.

Trooper Chad Wheeler of the North Carolina Highway Patrol said a passerby spotted Long’s 2014 Nissan passenger car around 8 a.m. Saturday. The vehicle was upside down in a creek located between Deloatch Mill Road and Ashley’s Grove Road.

“We are uncertain of exactly how long that vehicle had been there,” Wheeler told the R-C News-Herald.

In his investigation of the accident scene, Wheeler ascertained that Long’s vehicle was westbound on US 158. It crossed the centerline and traveled off the left side of the highway. The car flipped over at that point and came to rest on its roof in the creek.

Wheeler said that Long, who was wearing a seatbelt, was discovered inside the vehicle.

“We are waiting on the results of an autopsy that will hopefully shed some more light on exactly what transpired,” Wheeler stated.

He added that the level of water and the swift movement of that water in the creek seemed to indicate it was recently swollen by heavy rain.

“Mr. Long could possibly have been driving before sun-up Saturday and encountered a heavy rain that caused his vehicle to hydroplane and lose control,” Wheeler surmised. “Right now it’s just hard to pinpoint an exact cause.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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