First Posted: 1/15/2009
LUMBERTON - Authorities have identified the body of a man found last week as the victim of single-car accident.
Michael Angelo Viela was found last week in a field off Pittman Road.
Sheriff's Lt. Ricky Britt said the 24-year-old Bladenboro man was found not far from an overturned car at the intersection of Singletary Church and Pittman roads.
The state Highway Patrol investigated the accident on Feb. 19, but didn't find Viela's body at that time, Britt said. A man walking in the neighborhood found the body on Tuesday.
“He was driving a friend's car when the accident happened,” Britt said. “Nobody was around when the Highway Patrol responded.”
An autopsy concluded that Viela died from trauma to the head. Investigators have determined that injuries from the accident caused his death.
A missing report had not been filed. “His girlfriend thought he went back to Mexico,” Britt said.
In an unrelated incident, lawmen are still trying to identify the body of a pedestrian struck and killed Sunday night by a vehicle traveling near Parkton.
According to state Highway Patrol 1st K.D. Martin, Willie Melvin Jr., 46, of Fayetteville, was traveling south on Davis Bridge Road when his 2000 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle struck the man in the roadway.
“We actually had a witness that drove by in the opposite direction … he was walking in the middle of the southbound lane,” Martin said.
Martin said the man was wearing dark clothing. His body was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center for an autopsy.
“They did say he had a wallet but there was no ID in the wallet,” Martin said.
The accident occurred about 8:30 p.m., two miles north of Parkton near the Hoke County line.
Anyone with information can call the state Highway Patrol at 618-5555.