RAEFORD — Former Robeson County Commissioner Tommy Wellington was killed in a fiery wreck Monday, along with his wife and son, according to multiple sources.
Trooper John Burgin, public information officer for Troop H of the state Highway Patrol, confirmed Monday night that three people were killed in an accident on N.C. 211 near Poole Road in Raeford, but said that the names of those killed had not yet been released. Wellington’s wife was named Joyce and his was on Jamie. Wellington’s oldest son from a previous marriage, Johnny, also died in a car accident.
He has two surviving children, Georgia and Ginny.
As a county commissioner, Wellington represented District 6 from 2005 to 2010, when he lost his bid for re-election to David Edge.Wellington was appointed to the District 6 seat in 2005 to complete the unexpired term of the late Gary Powers, who had been a longtime friend of Wellington’s. Wellington followed in the footsteps of his father, Doug Wellington, who also served as a county commissioner.
He also served on the Robeson Community College board of trustees. His 24-year run on the board began with his appointment by the governor in July 1990 and ended with his Nov. 16, 2014, resignation.
“My health prevents me from being the productive and enthusiastic member that I once was,” Wellington wrote in his resignation letter. “I trust that I always served as a good ambassador as I represented the college at home, at the state level, and the national level. Over the years, I have invested a great deal of time and energy in behalf of the institution that I love so dearly.”
Ricky Harris, the county’s manager, told The Robesonian that he had been notified of Wellington’s death by Sheriff Kenneth Sealey at about 5 p.m.
“I really enjoyed working with Tommy on the board,” Harris said. “He was a good friend.”
The commissioners are expected to acknowledge Wellington’s death during their meeting tonight.
According to Burgin, the Hoke County accident occurred at about 11:51 a.m. when a truck left its lane and struck an oncoming passenger car head-on, killing a man, his wife, and the man’s son inside.
Charges are pending against the driver of the truck, Burgin said. The driver’s identity was not available Monday, but Burgin said he did not suffer any injuries.
The Aberdeen Times reports that the truck caught on fire and its driver was taken into custody at the scene of the wreck. According to the paper, one person was pronounced dead at the scene and another two were taken to hospitals, where they died. The paper does not identify the victims of the wreck, but cites reports that all three were from the Lumberton area.
Burgin said two other motorists who witnessed the wreck had provided Highway Patrol with information.