Local News

Section Of Harnett Co. Highway Remains Closed After Fatal Wreck

Posted October 16, 2001

— Fire and rescue officials remain on the scene of a deadly wreck that happened near Lillington Monday.

U.S. 421 west of Lillington remains closed to traffic, but is expected to reopen Tuesday evening. Traffic is currently being detoured onto Old 421 (State Rd 1291).

Two people were killed in the wreck involving a car and a tractor-trailer hauling fuel that then exploded.

Delmas D. Holder Jr. and 16-year-old Patricia J. Mason, both of Lillington, died after Holder's tractor-trailer struck Mason's 1997 Ford Contour and exploded, said Sgt. Jeff Winstead of the State Highway Patrol.

Winstead said both vehicles were traveling north on U.S. 421 in Harnett County, just north of Lillington, when Mason attempted to turn left. Driving behind Mason, 28-year-old Holder then moved into the southbound lane, striking the vehicle and causing the truck to flip onto the car.

The tractor-trailer was carrying 8,000 gallons of either gasoline or diesel fuel, said Sara Kempin, spokeswoman for the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

One witness said he saw a car turn into a driveway in front of the tractor-trailer.

Another, who said he arrived on the scene after the wreck, said he tried to remove the driver from the tractor-trailer but leaking fuel and flames drove him away.

The man, who identified himself only as Larry, said he ran from the truck as it exploded, sending flames high enough to burn the tops of surrounding trees.

"When I came up, the tank blew,'' he said. "There was smoke and fire going everywhere.''

A hazardous materials team from Fayetteville was called to try to prevent the fuel from spreading into the nearby Cape Fear River.


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