LUMBERTON — The life of a teenager who was killed when his bicycle was struck by a vehicle on Thursday is being celebrated on Facebook and money is being raised to help his family with funeral expenses.
Corey Lee Bloseld Perez, 17, of East Eighth Street in Lumberton, died from injuries suffered in the accident, which happened just before 1 p.m.
Perez’s mother, Jennifer Perez, said Friday that his body had been transported to Chapel Hill for an autopsy.
Friends gathered at her home to help her deal with the tragedy.
“They are holding up,” said family friend Darleen Pittman. “They have people helping them, bringing over pizza, I’m making some cakes … They don’t have a lot of family, but people are helping out.”
According to the accident report, Perez and an SUV were traveling east on Seventh Street when Perez’s bicycle turned across the path of the vehicle and was struck. Perez was reported to be traveling at 5 mph and the SUV at 30 mph when the collision occurred, according to the report of Lumberton police Officer James Walters. The posted speed limit for the road is 35 mph.
The driver of the SUV, Candace Lachelle Jackson of Tar Heel Road, was determined not be at fault and was not cited. She had a 9-year-old girl in the back seat. Both were wearing seat belts and neither was injured.
The report cites the cause of the accident as Perez failing to yield and inattention.
Pittman set up a crowdfunding page to help pay for funeral expenses. The page can be found at GoFundMe.com/corey-perez-funeral-expenses.
“Corey was a blessing to his family and friends, and acquaintances,” an introduction on the page reads. “Corey cared deeply for all. Corey was an upcoming senior of the Lumberton Senior High Class of 2018. Corey was a good student and loved school and his school family.”
Jennifer Perez works with Pittman at Lumberton High School as a teacher’s assistant and a bus driver.
“This is a tragic event for not only the family but for the community as well. Many area residents are heartbroken and my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this,” said Burnis Wilkins, a city councilman who represents the precinct where the accident occurred.
Two other people have died in the county since Wednesday in what are being called accidents.
Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said an investigation is ongoing in the death of 1-year-old Nea Pierre Phillippe, who drowned Wednesday evening after falling into a large pail of water at a home on Van Born Drive near Lumberton. The child apparently was reaching to get something out of the pail when she fell in face first and couldn’t escape.
A man who was killed in an explosion at a Maxton home on El Rancho Road has been identified as 37-year-old Martin Woods. Sealey said Woods was working on a generator when it apparently “sparked,” causing a fire that severely burned him. He died later of his injuries.
Woods’ death has been ruled accidental, according to the sheriff.