Driver survives crash that mangles minivan

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 28, 2011

By Shelley Smith
A 35-year-old man is in stable condition at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center after a collision early Thursday morning on the Exit 81 ramp at Interstate 85.
The driver of a Ford Windstar van, Michael Scott Butler, of Leonard Road in Salisbury, has a serious head injury, N.C. Trooper K.G. Barringer said, and was intoxicated when his van collided with a tractor-trailer that was parked on the right shoulder of the ramp, about five feet from the line.
Barringer said the tractor- trailer was not running, but lights were on inside, and the driver was winding down for the night when the crash happened.
Barringer found no skid marks on the road, so it was hard to determine how fast Butler was driving, and if he lost control.
Butler’s van struck the rear left corner of the trailer of the truck and swerved to the left, stopping on the left shoulder of the ramp.
“He (Butler) was trapped in the van but he didn’t have to get out,” Barringer said.
The crushed van was a total loss, however, only $100 in damages were reported to the trailer.
Barringer estimated Butler was traveling around 60 mph due to the severity of damage to the van.
Butler was charged with driving while impaired and careless and reckless driving. Barringer said he will have to subpoena the blood alcohol levels from the hospital.
Butler was charged in July 2010 for driving while impaired. He is due in court next month from that incident.
Contact Shelley Smith, 704-797-4246.