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Crash victim had local ties

ALBANY, Ga. -- A man with relatives in Albany died at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Whiteville, N.C., in a crash on U.S. 74-76, said a North Carolina Highway Patrol Sergeant.

Willie Barry Hudson, 61, of Fayetteville, N.C., a passenger in a 2007 Dodge Ram four-door pickup, was the only fatality in the crash, said Sgt. E.C. Harris. Also in the pickup were Antonio Hudson, 42, Timothy Hudson, 20, both of Albany, Antonio Howard, 12, and driver Antoinette Hudson Howard, 41, both of Fayetteville.

All the survivors were taken to Columbus Regional Healthcare System in Whiteville, Harris said as he read from a report. They apparently did not sustain major injuries.

A man who answered the phone at Antonio Hudson's address on the 1300 block of Colquitt Avenue declined to talk about the crash until family members returned from North Carolina.

Antoinette Hudson Howard, the deceased's daughter, was driving at about 60 mph in a 70 mph zone when the left-rear tire on the pickup blew out, Harris said.

"She overcompensated for the blowout, left the road and the pickup flipped over," Harris said. "The pickup traveled 224 feet from the road through the grass, flipped and then went another 87 feet. The marks left by the tires are not necessarily skid marks. You can't tell if she slammed on the brakes."

The pickup sustained an estimated $7,500 in damages, but the estimate could be low, Harris said.

There was no indication of drug or alcohol use, Harris said, adding the pickup crashed because it had a defective tire. No charges are pending.