Driver's health, exhaustion cited in fatal wreck


From staff reports

Monday, October 15, 2018

A local woman who died in a two-vehicle collision in Elizabeth City in July suffered from a number of health issues and may have been tired the morning of the wreck, state records show.

Eloise Ida Hastings, 57, of Elizabeth City was killed when her vehicle crossed the center line on North Hughes Boulevard and collided with an N.C. Department of Transportation truck the morning of July 13. 

According to Medical Examiner Walter Meads’ report, Hastings’ son told officials his mother had a history of hypertension, anxiety and high cholesterol. She also had not slept well the night before and was on her way to the beach when the accident happened, Meads’ report states.

According to Elizabeth City police, Hastings’ 2015 Nissan collided with a 2016 DOT truck driven by Randy Harrell about 11:27 a.m. at North Hughes Boulevard’s intersection with Bell Street. Hastings was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Meads said Hastings died from multiple blunt force injuries she suffered in the crash. He said he didn’t see evidence Hastings was wearing a seat belt, and Harrell told him the driver of the Nissan had crossed the center line. 

The Elizabeth City police report of the wreck estimated Hastings was driving 45 mph and Harrell was driving 48 mph. The posted speed limit for that part of Hughes Boulevard is 45 mph.

Meads’ report was released last week by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh.