Raleigh man dies in US 264 head-on collision early Sunday

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BAILEY — A Raleigh man was killed early Sunday when the vehicle he was driving collided with an oncoming car in the westbound lanes of U.S. 264.

Telecommunicators began receiving calls around 12:15 a.m. about a wrong-way driver on U.S. 264 near Bailey, but before authorities could intervene, the eastbound car crashed head-on into another vehicle.

“By the time I got on Interstate 95 to head that way, I heard EMS dispatching to the wreck,” said N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Fred Demuth.

Kenneth Lee Randolph, 47, of Raleigh, was driving about 65 mph and was eastbound in the westbound lanes when his 2004 Mazda 3 hit a 2017 Lexus RS 350 traveling between 70 and 75 mph westbound between mile markers 32 and 33. Randolph was dead by the time officials got to the scene while the Lexus driver, Ibrahim Salama, was critically injured.

Salama, 36 of Raleigh, was taken to Wilson Medical Center, then flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where his condition is unknown.

Demuth said both drivers were wearing seat belts and the airbags of both vehicles deployed, but why Randolph was traveling the wrong way is under investigation.

Westbound lanes of U.S. 264 a little more than a mile from the Wilson County line were closed for nearly three hours as crews cleared the scene.