Local News

Driver in Wrong-Way Crash in Hospital

Posted November 16, 2007

— Authorities on Friday located a man suspected of causing a wreck on a Johnston County highway that injured eight other people.

A white Toyota Camry was traveling the wrong way on U.S. Highway 70 in Selma shortly after midnight Thursday and collided head-on into a tanker truck filled with diesel fuel and a minivan, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Emergency workers took the eight occupants of the minivan to Johnston Memorial Hospital for treatment. The driver the of the Camry was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

The Camry driver didn't have any identification at the time of the wreck, so authorities said he wasn't easily located in the hospital's patient data system.

Authorities initially thought he had left the hospital without being identified because he was afraid of being charged.

But the man has been in the hospital's intensive care unit in critical condition since early Thursday, authorities said Friday afternoon. The man's identity remained a mystery, though.

Alcohol was a factor in the wreck, authorities said, and the Selma man who owns the Camry reported it stolen within hours of the wreck.

The Highway Patrol was reviewing the mix-up, and officials said they planned to question how the trooper handled the investigation.

The General Assembly passed a law in July allowing authorities to photograph unidentified drivers who have been charged in wrecks. The law takes effect Dec. 1.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • DJ of Clayton Nov 16, 2007

    "the car WAS reported stolen (hours after the wreck) this person had NO ID, therefore how could he be identified."

    No big surprise. How can you be held responsible if you report it stolen?

    "If this person regain conciousness he could have easily walked away from the hospital."

    Happens all the time.

    "If this person was "airlifted" he had to be in pretty bad shape so is he really missing or like whatelseisnew said, they dont remember what they did with him."

    Victims who are involved in car crashes are assessed in part by their condition, in part by the mechanism of injury. IF they score high enough, they need to go to a trauma center for evaluation. Johnston COunty does not have a trauma center, and most of the EMS agencies will not transport to WakeMed. They would rather let the helicopter come and get them.

  • Run_Forrest_Run Nov 16, 2007

    Goalieman said: "Truth Hurts, doesn't it? If it was a Mexican, he is probably here illegally and running scared. Yes, we need to pray for those hurt but, they would not be hurt if we would take care of the "illegal aliens" that are here. That includes more than Mexicans by the way. It includes all foreign born people that are here with expired visas or ones that crossed over with papers. So the race thing is irrelevant."
    Define take care of. Free Medical? Foodstamps? Welfare? No insurance for their cars? No licenses but able to drive? - or - do you mean; go find em, round em up and ship em out? Tag em with GPS and when they cross over again, shock em.
    Has nothing to do with the type of race they are. Has to do with the freeloaders and cost they cost the people who are here legally trying to make a living to have it taken away to pay for them. If they pay their way and play by the rules - FIESTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Nov 16, 2007

    From the N&O: "The man was driving a white Toyota Camry registered to Jose Armando Matute of 513 River Road, Selma."

    "Authorities have not determined whether the man is in this country illegally. Hooks said illegal immigrants involved in accidents, especially hit-and-runs, often disappear before authorities can question them."

    Ding ding ding ding, we have a winner. The one poster is right, if WRAL doesn't report who the suspect is in cases like this, it's almos always a Hispanic.

  • GWALLY Nov 16, 2007

    ....this is sort of like going to the DMV for a license, if you are white or black and speak English you must have 19 forms of ID and your mom to verify your existence in the US as legal.. If you can't speak English and have no ID.......they just point you to the photo chair and say smile!!!!! and here ya go sir, welcome to NC !!!!

    Please note: sarcasm is intended and intentional.......if you can't (or will not) speak English, print this out and take it to the NCDMV, they will be delighted to help you!!!!

  • dhoggard2 Nov 16, 2007

    Just because he was airlifted to hospital, doesn't mean he was hurt badly. Happens all the time if they just think you're hurt badly. Probably another illegal alien.. Doubt the car was stolen at all, the owner probably received a call from the driver to report it stolen.

  • Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Nov 16, 2007

    "If I had caused this accident I would be in the hospital and handcuffed to the bed."

    No, you wouldn't have.

  • PDMARTIN Nov 16, 2007

    Some of the commentaters should read the whole story before inserting foot into mouth.

    the car WAS reported stolen (hours after the wreck)
    this person had NO ID, therefore how could he be identified.

    If this person regain conciousness he could have easily walked away from the hospital.

    If this person was "airlifted" he had to be in pretty bad shape so is he really missing or like whatelseisnew said, they dont remember what they did with him.

  • taylor boy Nov 16, 2007

    How is that possible? You can't just go into a hospital and not give a name.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Nov 16, 2007

    "until more info is released i think it is wrong to, under speculation, be accusing illegal immigrants for this unfortunate event. it could just have been a quite legal caucasian or african american who didnt want to face the consequences of what they'd done"

    Well folks check out all of the other stories put out by WRAL and local media. This is a classic case of we can't confirm he is legal so we can not give race.

    If this had been a caucasian or african american you can bet your life it would have been like an Amber Alert with a composite drawing and full description. You can't tell me that from both on the scene, helicopter, hospital nobody could give a description. People are just over sensitive about illegal immigrants and its costing us a fortune and lives.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE.Some people are entitled to welfare but illegals are sending 12 Billion plus back to mexico per year, getting all services here free. Let see, how much will this one accident cost countless people

  • whatelseisnew Nov 16, 2007

    See I was right; this guys still is in the hospital. Since they claim they don't know who he is, how would they know whether he is still there or not. I'm telling ya they moved him and don't know where they put him.