'I couldn't save that one boy:' Truck driver stops to help I-40 crash victims
Posted April 11
Updated April 12
Johnston County, N.C. — A fatal wreck Tuesday afternoon killed an 11-year-old boy and injured five others on Interstate 40 at Exit 325 (N.C. Highway 242) near Benson.
An SUV carrying a mother and two boys caught fire, killing one of the children in that vehicle. The mother was taken to North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Health Care with serious injuries.
The boy was identified on Wednesday as Isaiah Jones.
Dwight Solomon, whose truck was behind the vehicles involved, witnessed the fiery crash as it happened.
“It was scary. I mean, it was right in front of me,” he said. “As soon as it happened, I locked down the brakes and swerved over to the shoulder and jumped out of the truck with my fire extinguisher to try to help.”
The wreck closed westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of I-40 near Benson for over an hour Tuesday afternoon.
The wreck was a four-vehicle chain reaction caused by an eastbound driver making an illegal U-turn into the westbound lane around 1 p.m., according to Highway Patrol.
Sky 5 footage show’s Solomon’s truck parked beside the burning vehicle. He said that SUV collided with another vehicle before slamming into a tractor trailer.
“Pretty much the whole front end disintegrated, parts went everywhere and it burst into flames immediately,” Solomon said.
The driver of the burning SUV, 32-year-old Angela Jones of Raleigh, was able to get out, Solomon said.
“She was able to open the door and roll out as I was running to the car, but she was on fire all over and I put her out,” he said.
Though she was badly injured, Jones was concerned about her son, who was still trapped inside the vehicle. Solomon said he could hardly see the boy through the smoke and flames.
Solomon said he grabbed the door and tried to yank it open, but it was stuck and it was too late to help the boy. That is what Solomon said stuck with him.
“I keep second guessing, was there anything I could have done different,” he said. “I just hate I couldn’t save that one boy that was in the back.”
Solomon said the second boy in the SUV, 9-year-old Daniel Jones, was able to escape and run from the crash. Authorities said that boy was also taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center.
Investigators have not identified victims, and no charges have been filed yet.