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Four From Upper Valley Family Killed in North Carolina Crash

  • Mary Williams, of Plainfield, N.H., left, and Tiffany Williams, of Northfield, Vt., share photographs in Lebanon, N.H., on Sept. 19, 2017, and talk about four members of their family who died in an accident with a tractor-trailer in Monroe, N.C., the day before. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

  • Authorities investigate the scene of an accident on Lancaster Highway in Union County, N.C., on Sept. 18, 2017. The driver and three passengers in a Toyota Camry were hit by a tractor-trailer as the car's driver pulled out onto the road. (WBTV - Amanda Foster)

  • A video image of an aerial view of authorities investigating the scene of an accident on Lancaster Highway in Union County, N.C., on Sept. 18, 2017. The driver and three passengers in a Toyota Camry were hit by a tractor-trailer as the car's driver pulled out onto the road. (WBTV - Sky3) WBTV — Sky3

  • June Allen Valley News — Jennifer Hauck (above) and WBTV — Amanda Foster

  • Dale Kennedy

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/19/2017 10:36:59 AM
Modified: 9/20/2017 12:15:25 AM

A vacation to visit relatives in North Carolina turned tragic on Monday for four family members from the Upper Valley.

Dale Kennedy, 65, and her sister, June Allen, 68, both of Canaan, and Allen’s two sons, Michael “Mikey” Allen, 27, and Jesse Winters, 36, died when the sedan they were in was struck by a tractor-trailer truck in Monroe, N.C., roughly four days into their trip.

“You could never even imagine this,” June Allen’s sister-in-law Mary Williams, of Plainfield, said outside of a Lebanon home where family members gathered on Tuesday. “It’s just awful.”

Chuck Allen, who is Mikey Allen’s uncle, chimed in.

“You certainly don’t expect a tragedy on this level,” he said.

Another woman added, “I’m numb. Unable to cry even.”

The crash occurred around 3:15 p.m. on Monday afternoon at the intersection of N.C. Route 200, also known as Lancaster Highway, and Nesbit Road in Monroe, a city about 25 miles southeast of Charlotte, according to Janet Ross, a district secretary for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Kennedy was the driver.

“They stopped at the stop sign but they pulled directly into the path of a 2007 Freightliner tractor-trailer truck,” Ross said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “The Toyota was T-boned and resulted in the death of all four occupants.”

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Jose Acosta, 50, of Monroe, suffered minor injuries but was not hospitalized.

Ross characterized the crash as “the worst fatality we (Union County) have ever had here before.”

June Allen’s small dog survived the crash, and family members who arrived on the scene took the pet into their care.

Charges are not likely to be filed, Ross said.

Kennedy, Allen and the two men were in North Carolina visiting family at the time, according to relatives who on Tuesday were outside of the Lebanon home Mikey Allen shared with his father Michael Allen.

The Allens are divorced, and Kennedy and June Allen lived together in Canaan. Winters, who had been staying in Canaan with his mother and aunt, recently got his own place, Williams said.

Kennedy and June Allen had a special bond.

“They were always together all of their lives,” she said. “If one moved, the other did.”

She added: “Out of this tragedy, for the two of them, it was good that they went together.”

June Allen retired from Hypertherm in 2014 after more than two decades as an assembler, and Kennedy had recently retired, or had plans to soon, from hospice nursing, family members said.

“(June) was a wonderful woman who was very proud of her work,” Hypertherm spokeswoman Michelle Avila said on Tuesday. “She always got here early to make sure she was ready to go and really took pride in mentoring younger associates.”

Both women had several children.

Mikey Allen and Winters, who had both struggled with substance abuse, had overcome that obstacle and had “got their lives back together,” Williams said. “They were doing really well.”

They both loved to play video games, and Mikey Allen enjoyed to hunt alongside his older brother, Jeremy Rogers.

The family drove to North Carolina. Mikey Allen was slated to fly home on Tuesday, while the others stayed.

Kennedy, the Allens and Winters all were born and raised in the Upper Valley, and they all will be buried here, Williams said.

“They will all be missed,” she added.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248




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