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Wreck Claims Life Of Sugar Grove Man, Charges Filed In Crash

A Watauga County man was killed in a Monday (October 31) crash and an individual has been charged in the case. The deceased is 43-year-old Raymond Jefferidge Kerley III of Sugar Grove. On Monday at approximately 8:15 a.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to U.S. 321 near Phillips Branch Road in Watauga County. A 2008 Ford F250 was traveling north, ran off the road to the right, overcorrected, crossed the centerline, and collided with a southbound 2012 Ford Escape. The pickup then collided with a southbound 2002 Ford F250.

The driver of the 2008 Ford, 28-year-old Jeremy Daniel Denney of Sugar Grove, received minor injuries and was transported by EMS to Watauga Medical Center in Boone. The driver of the 2012 Ford, a Blowing Rock woman, was critically injured and transported to Watauga Medical Center. The driver of the 2002 Ford, Raymond Jefferidge Kerley III passed away as a result of his injuries at the scene.

The initial investigation indicates alcohol impairment as a contributing circumstance. Denney was arrested and charged with felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, driving while impaired, and reckless driving. He received a $100,000 bond and was placed in the Watauga County Detention Center. He has a District Court date December 16. U.S. 321 was closed in the area for approximately five hours during the on-scene investigation.