A car involved in a wreck in west Greenville on Tuesday was airborne and traveling 70 mph when it hit a tree and exploded, killing three people, a Greenville Police Department investigation determined.

McArthur Ward, 30, 1300 Ward St., was driving the Nissan Altima south on Davis Street about 10:10 p.m. prior to the wreck, according to a crash report issued on Friday. For unknown reasons he was driving at a high rate of speed in a reckless manner, the report said.

He drove through several stop signs before arriving at Fifth Street, where the H&K Mart and Kings Convenience are located. He continued south across Fifth into a vacant, grassy lot, the report said.

He exited the lot back onto the continuation of Davis Street but straddled the left-hand curb with half the car on the road and half in front yards. The car became airborne and hit a tree head-on, spun around the tree and came to rest facing north.

The car exploded on impact and caught fire. Ward and Miland Marco Capone Lewis, 21, 1211-A Clark St., the left rear passenger, were killed in the vehicle. Miranda Lashae Artis, 29, 2804 Frank Kilpatrick Road, Grifton, the front seat passenger, was ejected and killed.

Sammie Madlock, 708-A Fleming St., the back right seat passenger survived with minor injuries. The crash report said none of the car’s occupants were wearing seatbelts.

Greenville Fire-Rescue responded to the wreck along with police. Madlock was out of the vehicle when responders arrived, the police department reported.

The report said the 2003 Altima belonged to Artis. Public works crews on Wednesday cut down the tree.

Attempts to locate and speak with Madlock and family members of Artis and Ward were not successful.

A relative of Lewis said his extended family was in shock on Friday. He was a graduate of J.H. Rose High School and had attended Pitt Community College.

Two die in Farmville wreck

An early morning collision Friday claimed the lives of two and blocked traffic in Farmville for several hours.

The State Highway Patrol responded to the collision at 2:39 a.m. on Friday.

Darren Devonne Burkrham of Goldsboro was driving a tractor trailer south on Welsey Church Road when he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 264 Alternate, the patrol reported.

The truck traveled through the stop sign and straight into a ditch before it overturned and came to rest at the wood line, the patrol reported.

Both Burkrham and passenger John Earl Parks of Seven Springs were pronounced dead on scene.