Last updated: December 10. 2013 11:19AM - 9181 Views
Rachel McAuley Staff Writer

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LAURINBURG — A Wagram man was killed Tuesday morning when his car ran off the road, hit a tree and burst into flames, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Trooper C. L. Pridgen said Ernest Lavonte Bittle, 25, of 26601 North Turnpike Road, was traveling Cliff Gibson Road at a “high rate of speed,” when he entered a curve near the intersection of Hoffman Road, ran off the road to the left, and struck a pine tree at 3:32 a.m.

Pridgen said he was killed instantly. There were no passengers in the vehicle.

The car, a 2012 Dodge Charger, valued at $18,000, was destroyed. It is unclear if Bittle was wearing a seat belt or just how fast he was going, Pridgen said.

Pridgen said it is unclear if alcohol was a contributing factor.

“We’re still trying to piece everything together,” he said.

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