Teen dies in Old Beatty Ford Road crash
By Scott Jenkins
An 18-year-old Salisbury woman died Thursday when she pulled her car out in front of an oncoming truck, the N.C. Highway Patrol said.
Melissa Beth Vanderburg, of 703 Yost Road, died at the scene of the wreck, which happened at the intersection of Old Concord and Old Beatty Ford roads.
The driver of the truck, Ronald David Trull, 46, of 3080 Old Beatty Ford Road, China Grove, suffered minor injuries, according to reports.
First Sgt. B.E. Hower of the Highway Patrol said the accident occurred around 6:40 p.m. as Trull was driving his 2007 Chevrolet north on Old Concord Road. Vanderburg was traveling west on Old Beatty Ford and drove her 1999 Ford Mustang into the crossing, and into the path of Trull’s truck.
Old Beatty Ford has a stop sign and a flashing red light at Old Concord, while Old Concord has a flashing yellow caution light at the same site. But Hower said it wasn’t clear whether Vanderburg stopped before entering the intersection.
It was clear that Trull had little time, if any, to react before his truck slammed into Vanderburg’s car, Hower said.
“That’s the only conclusion you can come to,” he said. “It’s kind of cut and dry.”
The impact pushed Vanderburg’s car off the road. The red Mustang came to rest in the grass on the northwest corner of the intersection, the front end of the white pickup against the driver’s side door.
Emergency responders initially reported a pin-in and called for a helicopter but canceled that call when it became clear Vanderburg had not survived. They cut away part of the Mustang to reach Vanderburg but were unable to remove her body from the car until a tow truck pulled the pickup away.
Officials blocked the intersection and turned traffic back in both directions, but several people parked alongside the road and hurried to the crash site.
Hower said Vanderburg’s brother had been driving a vehicle in front of her and had gone through the intersection shortly before the wreck. It was unclear whether he was immediately aware of it.
Ronald Trull’s father, Robert Trull, came to the scene of the accident and stood outside a Highway Patrol car talking with his son, who sat inside.
Robert Trull said his son owns Ron’s Concrete Finishing ó the name of the business was on the side of the pickup ó and was returning from Concord when the wreck occurred.
“He held her head till she passed away,” Robert Trull said.