Two hurt in wreck near Southeast Middle School 7-month-old in car seat OK
SALISBURY — A driver and her female passenger were seriously injured Friday night when their Ford Expedition careened across Peeler Road, jumped a curb at Southeast Middle School and went into a grove of trees.
A 7-month-old infant in a rear-passenger car seat appeared to be OK.
Emergency responders from the Rowan Rescue Squad and Bostian Heights Fire Department had to free the injured adults, who were pinned under the crushed dashboard of the 1997 Expedition.
The woman passenger appeared to have broken legs and a broken arm. The woman driver was in and out of consciousness. Medical helicopters flew the victims out separately after landing at the middle school.
At the wreck scene, Trooper D.T. Sloop said he wasn’t sure to which hospital the helicopters were headed. No identities were available Friday night.
Sloop and two witnesses said the Expedition, traveling east from the vicinity of Interstate 85, veered off the road on the right, struck the mailbox at John Hill’s home, came back onto the pavement and crossed Peeler Road.
The vehicle continued out of control to the left, jumped the curb of the middle school’s driveway entrance and continued into the woods, where it struck some trees.
“Boy, it was a big bam,” Hill said of when the Expedition hit his mailbox and sent it flying into his neighbor’s yard.
The SUV also struck a no-truck-turnaround sign posted at the school driveway, and barely missed guy wires to a corner utility pole.
“They brought the little baby out first,” Hill said, reporting the infant looked to have no injuries.
Rescue workers peeled off at least one door in freeing the two adults. Hill said he was sure the accident happened at 7:05 p.m., because he was preparing to watch the Atlanta Braves on television.
“You can see the skid marks across the road,” he noted.
Sam Hillian, a custodian at Southeast Middle, saw the Expedition hit Hill’s mailbox and ran out of the school as the vehicle continued out of control.
“I was running out of there when they hit the tree,” he said.
Hillian didn’t think the vehicle was speeding.
“It seemed like it might have been a blow-out,” he said. “I hope it was a blow-out.”
Hillian said he left the school building so fast he forgot to pick up his cellphone. He hurried back to the school to call for help, but residents in the area already had placed a call, he said.
Near the accident scene, on the school’s message sign out front, Hillian’s name is prominently displayed as the employee of the month.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.