Local News

Driver never expected to survive dump-truck ordeal

Posted April 16, 2009

— A woman who spent nearly two hours trapped inside her car when a dump truck overturned and spilled its cargo said she never expected to survive the ordeal.

Kara Benton and her husband were driving along Davis Drive in Apex Tuesday evening when the truck went off the road and eventually collided with her Honda Civic.

Chad and Kara Benton Woman pinned beneath dump truck credits paramedic

"I think it's a miracle that I'm still here," Benton, 25, said Thursday. "As soon as I saw the truck getting ready to fall on top of us, I thought, 'This will be the last breath I ever breathe.'"

Benton's husband, Chad, was able to escape with no significant injuries, but she was pinned beneath the car's collapsed roof. She is recovering from a bruised lung as well as scrapes and scratches.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the dump truck's driver, Edmund Theodore Jackson, 52, of New Haven, Conn., was driving the Freightliner when he ran off the road, overcorrected and struck Benton.

Authorities charged him with one count of reckless driving.

Benton said she credits paramedic Lisa Plunkett for helping her stay calm. Plunkett crawled into the flattened Civic and waited with her.

"I couldn't see her face when I was in the car, just because I had very limited mobility of my head, and she was off to the side," Benton said. "But she was great. She did an excellent job."

In an interview Wednesday, Plunkett said she was only doing her job. "I did what any other paramedic would have done," she said.

"There's not enough words to thank her, to show how much I appreciate what she did for me," Benton said.

Kara Benton was released from the hospital on Thursday.


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  • GALNC Apr 17, 2009

    Glad to see a happy ending......90% of the time EMS personnel are the ones who never get recognized..so it is refreshing to see it finally happen. I am glad to see the team effort (EMS/Fire/Police/Wreckers were successful in this rescue. The EMS personnel are highly skilled, receive low wages (considering they save your life) and almost never are recognized for the life saving efforts that they do at a fire or accident scene where they are also stationed has emergency personnel providing trauma care. Congrats to all on a job well done....

  • Just the facts mam Apr 17, 2009

    Glad to see everyone involved in this accident will be physically OK - probably over 9 out of 10 times the outcome would have turned out much worse and those cases do not get all of this press attention. It sounds like there was ALOT of people involved in this (as there is in all situations like this), and some people are being correctly recognized and praised for their work, and there were many, many other people involved in this accident who did not get the opportunity to get recognized but were also just as important and helpful. So great job to everyone even in a minor way involved in this accident that appears will have a fairly good ending!!! (even thank WRAL for their great coverage)

  • jprime Apr 17, 2009

    My wife drives a 2007 civic as well. Comforting to know a dumptruck can hit it and roll over on it with all passengers surviving.

  • ImaBee Apr 17, 2009

    I want to thank everyone who continued to pray for me, my husband, and the driver of the dump truck since the accident happened. The EMS, fire fighters, police officers, Wake Med staff, and all others involved in getting me out of the car and to the hospital safely are all angels sent from God in my mind.

    Kara Benton

  • Brejasa Apr 17, 2009

    God is good and I feel blessed to have people such as the paramedic who was just "doing her job" around. I would have freaked out if I was in trapped in my car like that and I'm honored to know that if something of this nature were to ever happen to me, I'd be in such good hands.

  • curiousgeorgia Apr 17, 2009

    Totally Awesome!

  • boomylar Apr 17, 2009

    I don't know anyone else that would have climbed into the car with her...job well done!!

  • kcfoxie Apr 17, 2009

    I predict the sale of Honda Civics to skyrocket after this. I don't think a Ford Expedition could have survived that kind of crushing.

  • lillann15 Apr 17, 2009

    Such a great ending. Although it was a terrible circumstance, this story shows the dedication and heroism that many people still possess. I, like others, feel that even though she says she was just doing her job, she did an EXCELLENT job at helping this woman remain calm. I could not imagine going through that ALONE, and the fact that this EMT was patient enough to sit in that car with her for 2 hours shows A LOT...

    God Bless this family, the emergency workers involved, and ALL other crews, whether it is fire, EMT, police, military, who dedicate their lives everyday!

  • flashpoint Apr 16, 2009

    1st and foremost, I'm glad that her and her husband are OK, God be with them. 2nd, God bless those that dedicate their lives to ensure our safety such as law enforcement, and to those that take care of us when the others slip through the cracks, such as Paramedics and Firemen.