Rescuer Saves One Victim in Deadly Durham Wreck
Posted October 27, 1998
DURHAM — A fiery wreck in Durham claimed one life Wednesday night, but an amazing rescue prevented a second death.
John Wesley Carpenter, Jr; 18, of Raleigh was killed in the accident.
Witnesses say that a Chevy S-10 pickup was driving at a high rate of speed when it came around a curve on Fletcher Chapel Road. They said that the truck swerved across the road, flipped over and landed in a ditch in Kevin Rahilly's front yard.
"It flipped upside down, and then the engine burst into flames," Rahilly said.
Rahilly ran from his house with two fire extinguishers to put out the flames inside the pickup truck. He was able to pull Nicholas Danisi, 16, of Raleigh out of his seatbelt and out to safety - however before he could get the driver out - the truck was engulfed in flames.
"When I pulled him out and got him to the top of [the ditch], another gentleman helped me pull him out into [the yard]," Rahilly said. "I went back into the house and grabbed an extinguisher, then I came back out to hit it again. I climbed back down there to try to get him, but that's when the tires started popping and the gas tank caught fire - it just exploded."
Rahilly says for the ten years that he has lived there, he has seen more than 30 accidents. He says the speed limit needs to be reduced.
Danisi is listed in stable condition at Durham Regional Hospital. Reporter: Todd HauerPhotographer: Chad Flowers