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Driver charged in Saturday wreck

SALISBURY — A man has been charged in a wreck that seriously injured another driver on U.S. Highway 70 Saturday night.
Christopher Benjamin Burgess, 26, of Burgray Road in Woodleaf, was charged with driving while intoxicated, having an open container of alcohol in the car, failure to wear a seatbelt and “failure to see before starting” at a stop sign.
According to Trooper H.T. Sloop with the N.C. Highway Patrol, Burgess pulled out from Parks Road to cross U.S. 70 just after 11 p.m. Saturday.
He drove into the path of Charles Junior Neely II, 31, of Cleveland, who struck the side of Burgess’ black pickup. Neely’s red SUV caught fire after the collision, and firefighters extinguished it once they got to the scene.
Neely was listed in serious condition Sunday night at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Sloop said Burgess had an open container of beer in the car, and his blood was drawn when he was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center. The results are pending from the state.
Cleveland Fire Chief Kenny Payne said Friday that accidents like this are too common at the intersection of U.S. 70 and Parks Road.
“The state needs to put a light here,” Payne said. “When I heard the call, I knew it was going to be bad because it was at this intersection.”

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