2 dead in speed-related crash near Morganton, troopers say

MORGANTON, N.C. — Two men were killed in a two-vehicle crash south of I-40 in Burke County.

It happened Friday afternoon along Pete Brittain Road south of Morganton.

[IMAGES: Double fatal crash in Morganton]

Pictures from the scene showed a car with heavy damage and a Jeep on its side.

Troopers said the driver of the car was speeding and lost control of it on a curve.

Neighbors compared the sounds of the crash to a bomb exploding.

"Two young guys; it was a high rate of speed,” neighbor Alan Roper said. “That's what got my attention."

Roper said he was outside working when he saw the crash.

Investigators said the two men who died were in their 20s. They said the car went off the road, the driver overcorrected and then crossed the centerline into the path of the Jeep.

Troopers estimated their speed to be in excess of 80 mph in a 45 mph speed zone.

"This is why we're out here doing what we do trying to slow cars down,” trooper Jonathan Gouge said. “I tell everybody that I stop to try to drive safe, but in the end, people are going to make their own decisions."

Channel 9 learned a mother and two young girls under the age of 5 were in the SUV that overturned from the impact.

Both children were buckled in safety seats.

Roper and another neighbor rushed over to help the young family.

"We took a hammer and I knocked out the back glass out of the Jeep,” Roper said, “We got two kids out, probably 3 or 4 years old.”

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