Teenager ejected in Old Beatty Ford head-on collision
By Nathan Hardin
ROCKWELL — A Rockwell teenager was ejected from a Jeep on Old Beatty Ford Road when it crossed the center line and collided with a car Tuesday afternoon.
Kevin Lambert, of Burchette Drive, remained in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast Tuesday night. Robert Chewey, driver of the oncoming Nissan Altima, was in emergency surgery.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Anthony Carpenter said Lambert, 18, and his girlfriend, Josie Miller, 17, were traveling west on Old Beatty Ford Road shortly after 5 p.m. when Lambert’s Jeep crossed the center line.
Carpenter said Lambert was not wearing a seat belt.
Neighbors said they saw Miller crawl out of the back of the Jeep, which was overturned in the front yard at 13020 Old Beatty Ford Road. Lambert was laying next to the Jeep.
Beside a fence on the opposite side of Old Beatty Ford, the Altima was mangled.
Witnesses said two men saw smoke coming from the engine and pulled Chewey out, but the car never caught fire.
All three were taken to NorthEast by ambulance. Authorities said Miller was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Lambert’s aunt, Abbie Crain, said she was at home when she got the call about the wreck.
Once at the scene, she said, Lambert was conscious. Authorities later said it was one of the few times he was.
“He knew who we were,” she said. “He just didn’t want anybody touching him. He was so hurt.”
Lambert and Miller have been dating about a year, Crain said.
Relatives said the two were headed to Concord when the wreck happened.
“They’re just too young to be going through this,” she said.
No charges had been filed Tuesday night, Carpenter said.
While emergency crews were on the scene, a Rockwell Rural firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. Authorities said he was taken to a local area hospital for observation.