One teen killed in Wal-Mart crash

Dillon Tart and Ashley Moore

June 4, 2010 8:54:13 PM PDT
Harnett County authorities are investigating a crash that happened in the parking lot of a Walmart Friday morning.

Two Triton High School teens were air lifted from the Wal-Mart located on U.S. 421 between Erwin and Dunn. One of the teens, 16-year-old Ashley Moore, died from her injuries. The driver, 18-year-old Dillon Tart, remains hospitalized at WakeMed in fair condition.

Authorities say after the SUV hit two parked cars, it hit a curb and rolled over. Chopper11 HD arrived on the scene around 10:30 a.m. A portion of the parking lot was closed off with crime scene tape and the SUV was resting near an outside wall of the building.

Police say the SUV hit the fire exit doors and a portion of the brick wall on the front of the Wal-Mart building.

Police do not know how fast the SUV was traveling, but they say the damage to the vehicle indicates it was moving at a high rate of speed. Witnesses estimate it was going at least 60 mph.

Other than the teens in the SUV, no one was injured.

Surveillance video from a gas station in the same shopping center as the Wal-Mart showed the SUV pull in and a scream from a girl could be heard.

"It paused for a few seconds, you could still hear the female screaming, took off out of our parking lot through the Wal-Mart parking lot," said Sammi Locklear, who works at the gas station.

Locklear says as the SUV cut across the Wal-Mart parking lot it was going so fast and swerving so bad the driver's hat flew out the window.

"It was horrifying," Locklear said. "It's something I won't forget for a while."

Tart is a senior at nearby Triton High School and a friend to fellow senior and ROTC student Johnathon Ennis since sixth grade.

"He's been a real good buddy of mine," Ennis said. "He used to be there for me in situations, because I would always get picked on and stuff. A lot of tears shed by Ashley's fellow classmates. And some of us seniors really were touched."

Police are investigating at least three possible causes for the crash including unintended acceleration, a driver medical condition or a domestic dispute.

Locklear says she believes the young couple was arguing, but a man at the scene who said he was a relative of the driver says Tart has a history of seizures.

If investigators determine the incident was the result of an argument and intentional, criminal charges will likely be filed.

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