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Passenger killed after car runs off road, strikes tree in Caldwell County

The 44-year-old man was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected from the vehicle.
Two passengers were not wearing seat belts and were partially ejected from the car.
Two passengers were not wearing seat belts and were partially ejected from the car.(WCAX)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 3:17 PM EDT
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LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) - One man was killed after the vehicle he was riding in veered off the road and collided with a tree, before turning over early Sunday morning.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP), Ethan Trent Roten, 21, was driving on Abington Road near Beecher Anderson Road at approximately 12:40 a.m. when his car ran off the right side of the road.

After leaving the road, his car hit a tree and overturned.

The front-seat passenger, James Darrell Roten, 44, was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected and pinned underneath the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The backseat passenger was also not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected and pinned under the vehicle. She was transported to Caldwell Memorial Hospital with injuries not life-threatening.

Ethan Roten was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, driving while license revoked and a lane control violation.

The crash remains under investigation.

Related: Head-on crash kills one, injures another in Catawba County

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