HERTFORD — A Virginia Beach man was killed and his passenger injured after their vehicle left the roadway and drove into a large ditch in Perquimans County Saturday night. Jeffrey Neal Jr., 38, died in the accident reported at the intersection of Lake Road and Chapanoke Road around 8:49 p.m., Sgt. B.P. Daniel of the N.C. Highway Patrol said Monday. A passenger in Neal’s 2008 Mercedes SUV, Christina Brumback, 38, of Norfolk, Virginia, was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, Daniel said. A Sentara spokeswoman said Brumback was in serious condition at the hospital on Monday. According to Daniel, Neal’s SUV was traveling east on Lake Road when it reached the “T” intersection with Chapanoke Road. Instead of turning onto Chapanoke, the SUV crossed the intersection and drove into a large ditch. Neal was pronounced dead at the scene, Daniel said. It took rescuers some time to extricate Brumback from the vehicle.

Daniel said speed was a contributing factor to the accident. He said three witnesses said Neal’s SUV passed their vehicle prior to the accident. Neither Neal nor Brumback were wearing a seat belt, Daniel said.

Daniel said the vehicle reportedly had left a local dragway in Perquimans just prior to the accident.