HARRELLS — A man riding a lawnmower alongside Ivanhoe Road was struck and killed Sunday night by a passing motorist who has now been charged with driving while impaired, with other charges pending the District Attorney’s review.
James Devane, 65, of 7921 Ivanhoe Road, Harrells, was pronounced dead at the scene following the collision, which occurred at 9:22 p.m. Sunday, said N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper D.E. Tew, who investigated the fatal wreck.
Tew said Devane was traveling southbound on Ivanhoe Road atop a riding mower when a 2001 Suzuki passenger car being driven by Otis Memphis Newkirk, 55, of 1137 Buckhorn Road, Willard, ran into the mower. The Suzuki was estimated to be traveling about 50 mph at the time of the wreck.
“Both were headed southbound on Ivanhoe Road,” the trooper said, “when Mr. Newkirk came up from behind and rear-ended the lawnmower and Mr. Devane was ejected off the lawnmower. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Newkirk and a male passenger did not sustain any injuries. Tew said troopers did detect an odor of alcohol from the vehicle. While he did not say that was the main factor in the deadly wreck, the DWI charge was brought against Newkirk. Troopers were on the scene of the wreck again Monday to continue their investigation.
“The District Attorney’s Office is currently awaiting other possible charges,” Tew said.
Sunday’s fatality is the fourth on Sampson roadways this year.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.