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2 killed in rural Nash County head-on collision

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MIDDLESEX — State troopers say two people were killed Saturday in a head-on crash caused by improper passing at a rural Nash County junction north of Middlesex. Jerry Wayne Pulley, 63, of Zebulon was driving a 1996 Chevrolet pickup truck on N.C. 97 when a 2010 Ford Focus SE driven by 21-year-old Jhony Berganza-Romero of Raleigh struck his vehicle shortly after 4 p.m., according to Trooper T.C. Batchelor of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Pulley’s wife, 57-year-old Dora Dickerson Pulley, and Berganza-Romero died at the scene. Jerry Pulley was taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh with minor injuries, Batchelor said. Berganza-Romero was in the oncoming lane attempting to pass another vehicle on N.C. 97 near its intersection with Rocky Cross Road. Batchelor said the stretch of state highway was a no-passing zone marked with double yellow lines.

The impact spun Berganza-Romero’s car off the road, where it came to rest in the shoulder. The Pulleys’ truck came to rest on N.C. 97. Berganza-Romero was traveling at an estimated 65 mph when his car smashed into the Pulleys’ pickup, which was traveling at about 45 mph. Ferrells Fire Rescue outside Middlesex responded to the crash along with Nash County EMS and the Highway Patrol. Authorities closed the intersection for about two hours Saturday afternoon while first responders attended to the victims and troopers investigated the wreck.