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Fort Bragg soldiers recovering after serious crash

Posted January 5, 2014

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— Conditions have improved for the Fort Bragg honor guard soldiers injured in a collision with a log truck near Laurinburg on Friday.

Two of the injured were airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Nathaniel Jemison, 28, and Joshua Furr, 26, were originally listed in critical condition. Jemison is currently in good condition; Furr in fair condition.

Eight of the soldiers were taken to Scotland Memorial Hospital in Laurinburg. Richard King, Christopher Somers and William Schmidt were originally listed in critical but stable condition. Joshua Provost, 25, was last listed in serious condition.

Scotland Memorial would not specify the current condition of each solider, only saying that two were in good condition and one is in critical but stable condition and is progressing well.

Thomas Kelazquez, William Mira, Rahul Tangirala and van driver Arthur Lee Horton Jr. were treated and released from Scotland Memorial.

The soliders' ranks were not immediately available.

The 10 members from the 82nd Airborne Division honor guard were on their way to a funeral in Indian Trail at about 10 a.m. Friday when Horton failed to yield the right of way and their van was hit on the right side by a tractor-trailer loaded with logs, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

The collision occurred at the intersection of U.S. Highway 15/501 and N.C. Highway 144, about two miles north of Laurinburg.

Five of the soldiers were trapped. First responders had to cut away the side of their passenger van – a process that took about 25 minutes, according to Kevin Strickland, Scotland County Rescue Squad commander.

"We knew we had two guys who were critical," he said. "(This is) a pretty popular intersection, known for some pretty serious injuries."

Horton, 22, was cited with failure to yield, authorities said.

The driver of the log truck, Donald George Stone, 35, of Lumberton, suffered minor injuries but refused medical treatment, authorities said.

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  • Lightfoot3 Jan 6, 2014

    I've driven through that intersection many times. If I'm on Hwy 15/501, I keep a keen eye on cars sitting there because they have a tendency to pull out in front of you. They've even added flashing caution lights there, I think.