Passenger from crash involving dump truck in critical condition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — The passenger of a Buick that was partially crushed by a dump truck on N.C. 52 Monday afternoon remained in critical condition Wednesday evening at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
Miranda Morgan, daughter of Joanne Harkey, said Wednesday that swelling has decreased in her mother’s brain but that her condition has not improved.
“She hasn’t improved any,” Morgan said.
Morgan was driving the light blue Buick that was hit just outside of Rockwell around 1 p.m. Monday.
She said she did not make a U-turn, which was initially theorized by authorities on the scene, but said instead that she pulled onto Tiger Oak Lane to turn around.
A N.C. Highway Patrol accident report was not available Wednesday.
“The brakes went out and I started to roll back,” Morgan said. “I rolled back and came to a stop in the road. I saw the truck and my mom was screaming.”
According to Morgan’s brother, Randy Wagoner, the Buick will not change gears if the brake is not engaged. When the brakes stopped working, the car’s transmission wouldn’t work either.
“I tried to put it in drive,” she said.
Morgan was sent to Rowan Regional Medical Center and Harkey was airlifted to Baptist Medical Center. The driver of the dump truck remains unknown.
“I remember looking at mama and she was (unconscious),” Morgan said. “I don’t remember the ambulance taking me to Rowan, but I do remember waking up and yelling and screaming for mama.”
Harkey is in the intensive care unit at Wake Forest Baptist.
Wagoner said doctors have attempted to take her mother off life support twice, but with negative results. “Her vitals go through the roof,” he said. “It’s the whole left side of her brain.”
Morgan said she doesn’t blame the truck driver.
“Accidents happen,” she said. “I don’t think it was anybody’s fault.”
Morgan said she’s worried about how her family will financially survive the accident. “(Harkey) doesn’t have any insurance,” she said. “We’re struggling to get gas to get there.”
Morgan said she usually has her daughter, Katie, riding in the back seat with them. She had just dropped the 3-year-old off at her father’s house.
“She’s only 3,” Randy Wagoner said. “She wouldn’t have made it through the wreck.”
Joanne Harkey, 320 Falcon Lane, is a member of Morningstar Baptist Church in Cleveland.
Pastor Ron Young said he’s visited Harkey twice this week. He said the church has had prayer sessions each night this week for Harkey.
“She’s very outgoing and she loves her children and grandchildren,” Young said of Harkey.
Young said Harkey was very committed to helping her family.
“(Harkey’s) children are young adults now,” he said. “I don’t know what their drive is going to be now.”
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.