Repo man car chase ends in accident that kills man

Troopers blame car chase for accident that kills man

A 70-year-old man was killed Saturday afternoon when his car was struck by another vehicle involved in a car chase in Southmont.

Robert Edward Lee Stokes Sr., 70, of Snider Road, was reported dead on the scene after a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of N.C. Highway 8 and Gray Road in Southmont.

North Carolina State Trooper J.Z. Johnson stated the driver of the other vehicle, Kenneth Lane Smith, 48, was chasing another car going in excess of 80 miles per hour when he struck Stokes' vehicle.

“(Smith) had sold a car to someone else,” Johnson said. “That person had not been making the payments, so Smith went looking for the vehicle. He spotted them and started to chase them to repossess the car. That is why the speeds were so high when the accident occurred.”

Johnson said the N.C. Highway Patrol is working with the Davidson County District Attorney's Office on possible charges against Smith. The posted speed on N.C. Highway 8 at that intersection is 45 miles per hour.

Trooper Sgt. S.M. Comer said Stokes, who was driving a 2002 PT Cruiser, attempted to turn from Gray Road going north onto Highway 8 at 2:20 p.m. when his vehicle was struck by a 2000 Silverado pickup truck driven by Smith.

Smith and a 16-year-old male passenger were transported by ambulance to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem after the accident. The teenager, whose name was not released, was reported to have been treated for minor injuries and released.

Johnson said Smith was still being treated at Baptist Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries. A hospital spokeswoman said he was listed in fair condition Monday afternoon.

Other emergency response agencies that also responded were the Southmont Fire Department, Davidson County Rescue Squad and Davidson County EMS.

Sharon Myers can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 228, or at Follow Sharon on Twitter: @LexDisptachSM