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3 Perquimans wreck victims remembered as hard workers

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By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Thursday, June 27, 2019

HERTFORD — Three Perquimans County men killed in a traffic accident in Currituck County last week are being remembered as hard workers who were trying to make better lives for themselves.

Tyrell Davis, 30, Kristopher Midgett, 29, and Marquarize Hunter, 23, died from injuries they suffered when the car Davis was driving crossed the center line on U.S. Highway 158 in Grandy Monday, June 17, and collided with a southbound vehicle. A fourth man in Davis’ vehicle, 26-year-old Damon Hunter — Marquarize Hunter’s cousin — was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, the accident happened about 7 a.m. as the men were headed home after working the night shift at the Walmart in Kitty Hawk. Sgt. Jeff Wilson said fatigue may have contributed to the accident. He also noted all four men weren’t wearing seat belts.

“I knew all four of them through my children,” said Frank Norman, a Hertford town councilman and a resident of Wynne Fork Court, where Davis lived. “Marquarize practically lived at my house. Not because of any problems he had at home, but just sometimes he and my son might be going somewhere the next day.

“They were good kids,” Norman said. “Tyrell was like a big brother to them.”

Norman said he was in Ocracoke with a group of other elected officials when he heard about the accident. He said it spotlights the need for creating good-paying jobs for Perquimans residents closer to home.

“These guys got together, found a job and drove an hour and a half or two hours to work,” Norman said. “That says something about these kids. They wanted a better life for themselves.”

Kaysha Banks said she got to know some of the group, especially Marquarize Hunter, through an odd set of circumstances. She lives in Elizabeth City but was in Hertford back in 2014 trying to find kids to invite to a new Tuesday night church program.

“We were just trying to keep them out of trouble and feeding them, but I didn’t know anything about Hertford,” Banks said.

Banks said she drove around but couldn’t find any young children. She then noticed a group of young men playing basketball at the court on Grubb Street.

“Long story short, once I told them what was going on, two of the young men jumped in the car with me and the rest of the guys said that they would meet us there,” Banks said. “One of the young men in the car was Marquarize Young-Savage Hunter. He rode around with me showing me where all the kids hung out and he helped me invite some kids to church. We ended up with almost 100 kids there.”

Banks said that from then on, Marquarize would ride with her whenever she traveled through some of what she described as Hertford’s “not so safe parts.”

“There were some moments when he would say ‘Miss Kaysha you wait right here’ and he would knock on the door to go get a kid for church,” she recalled. “He and AJ (another young man) would call themselves my bodyguards. I used to have the biggest smile when he would walk in church on Sunday morning.”

After that service, Banks said she would ask Marquarize if he wanted to go with her to another church service in Camden. She recalled he would say “OK,” and they would ride to the second service, always stopping at Hardee’s for meals both on the way and after church.

“He was always so respectful and polite,” Banks said. “Even after we stopped having Sunday service in Hertford, I would see him at games or around town and he would always come up and hug me and we would catch up.”

She said Marquarize played a key role in helping build her church’s Teen Tuesday program.

“The kids respected him and listened when he would try to calm the boys down,” she said. “I’m so sad to hear of his passing and I am praying for his family. He really was a respectful and a great young man.”

Other people who knew the three men offered online condolences following their deaths.

“I’m so saddened about Kristopher,” one person wrote, referring to Midgett. “He will truly be missed.”

Originally from Edenton, Midgett worked as the maintenance supervisor at the Walmart in Kitty Hawk.

A person who worked at the service desk at the store said they would always remember Midgett’s “wonderful and welcoming smile each morning.” The person went to describe him as a “wonderful person” who was both kind and respectful.

Yet another wrote about Midgett: “Fun person to work with. We had serious talks and he had come a long way (but) had goals he had yet to accomplish.”

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