Excessive speed was the cause of a single vehicle accident on Longleaf Drive in Seven Lakes West Saturday night, June 22, that claimed the life of 48-year-old Earnest Ray Barber of Pinebluff.
That's the conclusion reached by NC Highway Patrol Trooper K.R. Burroughs, who told The Times on Monday that he estimates Barber's vehicle was traveling at nearly 70 miles per hour when it crossed the center line and slammed into a tree around 11:00 pm. The accident occurred between the two ponds on the outside of Longleaf, west of Lakeway Drive, near Patman Court.
Burroughs said Barber was traveling east on Longleaf, and his high rate of speed was observed by witnesses in two other vehicles heading west on Longleaf.
Barber was driving a full-sized Dodge pickup, with 25-year-old Bryan Scarlett, of Jackson Springs, in the passenger seat. Scarlett was transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. On Monday, the hospital reported Scarlett in good condition.
In addition to the Highway Patrol, first responders called to the scene included Moore County EMS, Seven Lakes EMS, Seven Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, and West End Fire and Rescue.
The accident, rescue efforts, and investigation stopped traffic on Longleaf for about two and one-half hours, Ed Cockman, Safety and Security Director of the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association, told The Times. The Association opened the road across Lake Auman Dam to facilitate the flow of traffic to and from the neighborhoods west of the dam.