Mother killed, daughter in serious condition

FAYETTEVILLE Investigators say a pick-up truck carrying three people was traveling on Strickland Bridge Road when the driver swerved to miss a bicyclist.

The driver drove off of the right side of the roadway causing his truck to clip the handlebars of the bike. Upon striking the bicycle, the truck overcorrected and slammed into a Chevrolet Impala, which was traveling in the oncoming lane.

"We got on scene … found a white Dodge pickup truck with three occupants had clipped a little boy on a bicycle," Fayetteville police Spokesperson Theresa Chance said. "Just clipped the handle bars, he was okay. Trying to avoid that bicycle, the man swerved into oncoming traffic."

All three of the pick-up's occupants, Johnnie Clint Nabours, Mariano Vazques and Pedro Santos, were taken to Cape Fear Valley Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The bicyclist, identified as 18-year-old Blayne Ritter, did not suffer any injuries.

"My husband had just left to go to work, so I thought maybe he was in an accident and I ran outside in my pajamas and that's when we saw the car and ran back in and called 911," eyewitness Edith McNiell said.

The driver of the Impala, Tara Thompson, died at the scene. In the car with her was her 11-year-old daughter, Shanice Thompson, who was pinned in the vehicle with serious injuries.

"The daughter had to be extracted out of the vehicle," Chance said. "The fire department had to cut her out and she is now in surgery at Cape Fear Valley Hospital."

The girl was rushed to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where she underwent surgery, she is currently in fair condition.

"Shanice was in surgery, just come out of surgery probably about an hour, hour and half ago for a head injury," Seventy-First Classical Principal Scott Pope said. "She will go back in tonight for some surgery on her legs."

The mother and daughter were on their way to Seventy-First Classical Middle School, where Tara Thompson worked as a teacher's assistant and where Shanice Thompson is a sixth grade student.

Pope says Tara had a wonderful personality.

"It was amazing how happy she was about everything," he said. "She came in every morning at 7 a.m. just as bubbly as she could be, would lighten up the office."

Strickland Bridge Road remained closed at Jenna Shane Drive and Larwood Drive while authorities cleared the scene.

At this time, the investigation remains ongoing and charges are pending.

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