Local News

'I couldn't save that one boy:' Truck driver stops to help I-40 crash victims

Posted April 11
Updated April 12

— 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.

8 Comments

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  • Jenny Hubbard Johnston Apr 12, 11:39 a.m.
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    Ed Ray -- It does not say anywhere in this article that the mother was the one making the illegal U-turn.....this story is heartbreaking and my heart goes out to this family and the truck driver that witnessed everything.

  • Ed Ray Apr 12, 11:17 a.m.
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    This mother had to learn the ultimate lesson, because she could not drive the 2 miles to the next exit. She did knowing that she could get people killed and did it anyways. I see there is nothing about the charges she will be charged with. All this and manslaughter because she was in such a rush to get where she was going that she killed her son. Slow down people it is not worth it in the end. So what if you are a few minutes late, at least you will make it alive and not put yourself or others in danger. I feel sadness for the man that tried to save them and had to witness the little boy burn to death. He will have a long road to mental recovery

  • Kris Dawn Apr 12, 10:56 a.m.
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    This is horrible for the family of the little boy - and for the guy who had to see this.

    Where was that person even going who made the U-TURN - looks like there is a fence there to stop them from even turning. This was not an accident - it could have been prevented and I do hope the person is charged to the fullest....

  • Larry Fellers Apr 12, 10:34 a.m.
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    View quoted thread


    It still being​ investigated.

  • Larry Fellers Apr 12, 10:33 a.m.
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    When is N.C. going to do something about the idiotic drivers? On 440 and 540 people do 100+ and not a cop in sight...

  • Michael Evans Apr 12, 8:15 a.m.
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    Prayers for that trucker as he has to live now knowing he has seen a child burn to death and feels "he couldn't do anything". What confuses me is how have no charges been filed when the authorities know a driver made an illegal u-turn?

  • Sara Hauser Apr 12, 6:31 a.m.
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    God bless that truck driver and the crash victims. Agree with Janet. Someone's impatience has cost a life and injured others.

  • Janet Ghumri Apr 11, 5:09 p.m.
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    It always stuns me to see what some drivers try to do, just to save themselves a few minutes/ miles!
    An illegal U-turn on I40?? Bad decisions behind the wheel endanger all vehicles in the area. One driver doesn't have the right to risk others lives. Prayers for all those involved. So very sad, and avoidable. Smh