Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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Two women killed in separate hit-and-runs on North NC 49

The lives of two women were recently cut short in two, separate hit-and-run accidents that occurred within days of each other along a two-mile stretch of NC 49 North between the towns of Haw River and Green Level.

The first of these two motor-vehicle fatalities occurred last Wednesday evening near NC 49’s intersection with Center Street – a location just south of the northern border of the town of Haw River.

According to the Haw River Police Department, emergency personal were originally dispatched to this intersection at about 10:30 p.m. to deal with an “unknown medical issue.” Once they arrived on the scene, the first responders found the body of a 42-year-old white female lying by the side of the road.

The town’s police department went on to launch an investigation, which ascertained that the victim had been struck by a motor vehicle while she was traveling on foot. The department did not reveal any further details when it issued a news release on the incident Thursday. Nor did it divulge the victim’s identity, since next of kin had yet to be notified.

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The police department urges anyone with pertinent information about this case to contact the agency at 336-578-4141 or call Crime Stoppers at 336-229-7100 to leave an anonymous tip.

Less than three days after the first hit-and-run death, the body of a second woman turned up less than two miles away in the municipal limits of Green Level.

The victim in this second case has been positively identified as Vangela Royster White, a 60-year-old black woman who had been reported missing by family members in the small hours on Saturday.

According to the office of Alamance County’s sheriff, deputies spoke with White’s family and friends after they learned of her disappearance at 1:37 a.m. They also circulated the neighborhood and made several unsuccessful attempts to contact White’s cell phone before they issued a be-on-the-lookout advisory and cleared out of the area at about 4:00 a.m.

In the meantime, White’s family members continued to search for their missing relative for several hours after the deputies departed. Shortly before 12:45 p.m., this improvised search party reached the intersection of NC 49 and Donelson Way, where their fears were confirmed by the sight of White’s lifeless body in a shallow ditch by the side of the road.

The discovery of White’s remains prompted the sheriff’s office to open a formal investigation into the cause of her death. According to the sheriff’s office, the location and position of her body suggested a hit-and-run accident. This theory was later confirmed by a medical examiner as well as the NC State Highway Patrol, which subsequently took over the investigation.

According to Byron Tucker, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, deputies tried to assist the highway patrol by scouting the area for surveillance cameras and other potential sources of evidence.

“Although surveillance cameras were in the area, unfortunately nothing was captured,” Tucker went on to report. “Deputies closed the death investigation and turned over [the case] to the NCSHP.”

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