3 killed, including child, in crash; responding fire truck runs over woman

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North Carolina State Highway Patrol (Photo: WWAY)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina Highway Patrol says three people, including an eight-year-old girl, died in a multi-car crash early Tuesday in Columbus County.

Troopers say it happened on Highway 410 around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.

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According to a release, the driver of an SUV was heading south when he crossed the center line and hit a trailer being towed by a pickup then hit a Nissan Maxima head on. Once those vehicles came to a stop, another car hit them.

A woman who was in the SUV ended up on the side of the road in knee-high grass. She was run over by fire crews responding to the scene, troopers say. An investigation into her cause of death is underway.

58-year-old Deborah Jane Montouri, 8-year-old Lacey Wilson, and 45-year-old Eric Lavon Freeman Sr. were killed.



55-year-old Steven Wayne McDonald, 26-year-old Courtney Fussel, 26-year-old Stephanie McDonald, 53-year-old Timothy Mattem and 65-year-old Verner Bingman were transported to Grand Strand Regional in SC with serious injuries.

Steven McDonald, the driver of the SUV, faces one count of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.