Woman flips truck, dies after it bursts into flames


MAYSVILLE, Onslow County - A fatal accident in Maysville Monday morning closed US 17 for nearly two hours midday Monday.

Gerri Heiser and her daughter, Michelle Criner, heard the accident from their home nearby, and went out to investigate.

"I heard the booms first, and at first I thought it was artillery but it kept happening so I looked out and I could smell smoke in my house," she said.

Criner said the pair were unsure what the cause of the crash was at first, but said the smell of smoke was strong and pervasive.

First Sgt. David Oglesby of the North Carolina Highway Patrol said a 1981 Chevrolet pickup was heading south on US 17 when it crossed the center lane.

The truck, Oglesby said, struck an oncoming vehicle, flipped and landed on its roof, bursting into flames. The driver, 41-year-old Susan Purifoy McNeely of Dover, died at the scene.

Authorities said she was headed to Jacksonville for a doctor's appointment at the time of the crash.

The car McNeely hit was driven by 71-year-old Stephen Boyce and had his wife, 69-year-old Sylvia Boyce - both of Ticonderoga, N.Y. - as a passenger.