Cleveland county couple dies after explosion

“It’s horrific, it’s terrible,” said the victim’s brother, Paul Newton.

Family members of 74- year old Johnie and 76- year old Naomi Newton sifted through the rubble hoping to find any memories not destroyed.

“To the average person they wouldn’t be important, but to the kids they’re great, we found Bruce, the son’s first grade report card, stuff you know that mothers keep,” said Newton.

North Carolina Highway Patrol says 24-year old Thomas Pruitt drove his pick up truck off East Stagecoach Trail and into the Newton’s front yard late Sunday night. The couple’s house caught on fire after the truck hit a propane tank causing several explosions. The Newton’s were inside their home at the time.


“It’s tragic disaster, you see it in movies happening but you never expect to see it in your front yard,” said neighbor, Tim Weaver.

Weaver says this isn’t the first time a car ran into the Newton’s front yard, in fact they were so concerned about it they put this fence up and these barricades and had to replace them several times.

Weaver says his wife, the Mayor of Fallston, tried to get the state to put up guard rails or flashing lights, but nothing was ever done.


“It’s a shame somebody has to lose their lives because of a problem we couldn’t get addressed,” said Weaver.

Now family is left to pick up the pieces.

Remembering a couple married 55 years, who died 5 minutes apart in the hospital.

“There’s no point in getting mad at anybody, when it comes your time it’s your time, and it’s just hard,” said Newton.