Rescuers Recall Horror of Johnston Co. Accident
Posted February 3, 1998
SMITHFIELD — Two children trapped in a car that plunged into a Johnston County creek Tuesday remain in critical condition. Two other children died, and the mother of three of the children, who was driving the car, has been released from the hospital.
Now, four teenagers who risked their lives to save the victims are being called heroes.
The four happened upon a line of vehicles surrounding the accident scene. They were told that a woman, four children, and the family dog were trapped in a car that had gone into the water. Without taking time to think about risks, Jason Evans, Brian Hough, Jody Parrish and Patrick Van Peck went into action. Three of the teens talked to WRAL-TV5'sKelly Wrightabout what happened.
VanPeck told WRAL-TV5'sKelly Wrighthe felt he had to do something.
Hough recalls lifting victims out of the car and onto the ground.
Evans says there was no time to think about the risks he was taking.
The men say all they could think about was doing their best to save a woman and four children in desperate need of help. Regina Nicole Hall had somehow missed the bridge, possibly because of the rainy weather. Her car flipped and plunged into the creek, trapping four the children inside. The cold murky water made rescue attempts difficult and risky.
The teens agree that all they could think about was helping the woman and children who were in desperate need of help, but the cold, murky water made their task difficult. Hough says they couldn't get the car doors to open.
The rescuers desperately tried to free the kids until rescue crews arrived. The teens are students at South Johnston County High school. They were on their way home from school when they came upon the accident.
Van Peck says people should be prepared for situations like this, because you never know when you'll run across one.
The young men Wright spoke with appear to be taking all the attention in stride. After the incident two of them went to their part-time jobs while the third went to a basketball game to be among friends and get some consolation.
A trust fund has been set up to help both families who lost children in the accident. Anyone interested in donating to the Hall or Moss family should call BB&T bank in Clayton at919-553-6131or mail donations to BB&T Funeral Fund, 315 East Main Street, Clayton 27520.