Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011
By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — A woman was flown to a Winston-Salem hospital Wednesday after the car she was in pulled in front of a truck traveling with a group of cyclists heading to New York for a Sept. 11 memorial.
Emergency responders landed the helicopter in a nearby parking lot after the wreck at South Main and Monroe streets.
Two people were pinned in the Chevrolet Lumina when the truck hit it on the passenger side. It took firefighters about 15 minutes using the Jaws of Life to cut away both driver-side doors and a portion of the vehicle’s roof to free the passenger, Paula Dagenhart.
Authorities said Annie Watkins, 64, of 420 Vance Ave., was driving the Chevrolet south on Main Street and turned left onto Monroe — crossing the northbound lane in front of the oncoming truck.
Salisbury Police Officer Daniel Fleming said Watkins failed to yield and was struck by the truck driven by Justin Jones of Naples, Fla. Watkins has been cited for failure to yield.
Watkins was taken by ambulance to Rowan Regional Medical Center with chest and arm pain. Fleming said he spoke with Watkins on the phone Wednesday afternoon and anticipated a full recovery.
Dagenhart was flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with head and chest injuries, Fleming said. The helicopter landed in the former Salvation Army Store lot at 520 S. Main St.
Fleming said Dagenhart was conscious the entire time and a paramedic indicated she was flown out as “more of a precautionary” measure.
Around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dagenhart was still in the emergency room at Wake Forest Baptist and her condition was undetermined, a nursing supervisor said.
Jones and a passenger in the truck refused medical treatment, according to emergency radio communications. The truck, a support vehicle with the Naples Fire and Rescue in Florida, was driving through Salisbury ahead of a group of more than 50 cyclists with the 9/11 Brotherhood Ride.
Riding to honor fallen firefighters, the cyclists started in Naples, Fla., on Aug. 20 and are riding up the East Coast. They’re scheduled to arrive in New York on Sept. 10.
The cyclists rode up U.S. 29 into Salisbury Wednesday afternoon and stopped at Fire Station No. 2 before continuing to the city’s firefighter memorial. They stayed overnight in Salisbury and are riding out this morning.
The truck was pulling a trailer with bicycles inside.
Fleming said the wreck knocked down a city of Salisbury granite marker. A utility pole at South Main and Horah streets had a few scrapes, but otherwise wasn’t damaged.