Troopers: Rock thrown through windshield kills Burke County woman

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — The highway patrol in Burke County is investigating a crash where a rock was thrown into the windshield of a car, killing a woman.

It happened Wednesday night along Conley Road, west of Morganton near Jeeter Carswell Road.

Troopers believe shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, someone threw the five to eight-pound rock from another vehicle or from the side of the road. It hit and killed 23-year-old Brittany Ferguson.

Investigators said Ferguson’s car continued off the road and then hit the front of a home. Witnesses said the large rock was still in the front seat of the car and the wheels were spinning when they got up to the vehicle.

All Thursday morning, Channel 9′s Dave Faherty saw people driving slowly by the scene. Neighbors said Ferguson’s family members placed signs Thursday morning along the roadway where it happened, asking for help from the public. Shattered glass was still at the scene.

Heather Deal showed Faherty the path of the car as it went through her yard before hitting the home.

“I really don’t have the words,” Deal said. “I really don’t have the words. It’s scary. She was meeting up with her sister, is what I was told by family, and they were supposed to go and have a day at the Biltmore house.”

Abby Rumfelt owns the home that was damaged.

“I hope that whoever did this act will come forward and, you know, man up to what’s happened here,” she said. “Because it’s just an awful tragedy.”

“Evil. That’s all I can think of is evil, just pure evil,” Deal said.

State troopers said they are looking for a white Chevrolet S-10 that was spotted in the area and possibly had someone in the bed of the truck. They are working closely with sheriff’s deputies on the case, hoping to find the person responsible.

“Someone threw a rock, either standing on the shoulder or passing by in the opposite direction in another vehicle,” First Sgt. Daniel Wakefield said. He’s with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. “We’re going to rely on and hope that someone will come forward and help us with this to locate this vehicle.”

Inside the search

State troopers said they’re also canvassing the area with deputies to see if there’s any surveillance cameras that captured video of the second vehicle around the time of the wreck.

Marshall McGee will be the first to say that deputies and state troopers are working hard on the case. He drives a white S-10 pickup truck similar to the one they’re looking for. He said he has been pulled over and followed by law enforcement since the incident.

“I tried to leave to go to work last night and got pulled over by two state highway patrol and was questioned for about 30 minutes before they let me go on to work,” McGee told Faherty on Friday.

About a mile away from the crash scene, investigators recovered surveillance video Friday morning at Hillbilly Grocery Store. The video possibly shows the white truck prior to Ferguson’s death. Vicky Peabody works at the store.

“I feel like they knew what they were doing,” she said. “I mean you can’t pick up a five, six, eight-pound rock and throw it at a car and nothing happen.”

Just down the road, investigators also went to the Brendletown Fire Station where Faherty learned cameras there captured video of the small white pickup.

“I want them to find whoever done this,” McGee said. The little girl was a sweet little girl. My daughter knew her and went to school with her. And whoever done this needs to be brought to justice.”

State troopers told Faherty the highway patrol is sending additional resources from Raleigh to help solve the case.

(WATCH BELOW: Flipped tractor-trailer, second serious crash block Catawba County highway)