The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 28, 2012

Man struck crossing US 64 Bypass

Van Holland

TARBORO — A 52-year-old Tarboro man struck by an automobile as he attempted to cross U.S. Highway 64 Bypass at about 9 p.m. Tuesday night is listed in critical condition at Vidant Medical Center.

Leslie Darnell Morgan, 204 Pearl St., was in the westbound traffic lanes when we was struck by a 2000 Ford being driven by 17-year-old Crystal Lynn Gunther of Nashville, NC.

According to Tarboro Police patrolman Ryan Jordan, Gunther was traveling at an estimated 70 miles per hour — which is the posted speed limit where the accident occurred — when she struck Morgan at mile marker 486, near the U.S. 258 exit.

Morgan, who was struck by the right front fender, was hurled into the windshield, breaking it and partially entering the passenger compartment. When Gunther hit her brakes, the momentum of the impact resulted in Morgan’s body being thrown 338 feet from the point of impact.

Jordan’s accident report indicated damage to Gunther’s vehicle was estimated at $4,500 with damage to the front right fender, windshield and roof. Gunther was not charged.

During the investigation, Jordan and North Carolina Highway Patrolman Clee Atkinson found a sock and shoe lying by the front of the vehicle, another sock to the left of the crash site, a windshield wiper about 50 feet in front of the vehicle and another shoe just east of where Morgan’s body landed.

Last July, Morgan filed a federal lawsuit against Tarboro Police for allegedly violating his civil rights while in custody. His name has appeared in the crime report on a regular basis over the past 12 months on a variety of charges, from first-degree burglary and breaking and entering, to multiple counts of shoplifting and resisting an officer.