Police looking for second vehicle in fatal wreck
Posted June 23, 2009
Updated July 9, 2009
Cary, N.C. — Police asked drivers in Cary Tuesday for help in locating a beige van that might have contributed to a fatal wreck.
Melissa K. Birdsong, 28, and her 3-year-old son, Alexander Birdsong, were injured in a wreck Monday at the intersection of Green Level to Durham Road and Cary Glen Boulevard. Melissa Birdsong’s stepdaughter, 16-year-old Kailee Nicole Birdsong, died, police said.
There is evidence at the scene of the wreck that suggests Melissa Birdsong swerved to avoid hitting something, Lt. Randall Rhyne said.
Police set up a checkpoint Tuesday at the location of the wreck and asked drivers about anything they might have seen. They described the vehicle they are looking for as a beige van or large SUV with a box-shaped rear. The vehicle likely has black paint or a scrape on the front, left bumper, police said.
Anyone with information about the wreck is asked to call the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4012.
While authorities investigated, Robbie Birdsong pleaded with the driver of the other vehicle to come forward.
“Somebody died here yesterday,” he said. “It’s probably more serious than he (the other driver) thinks. I would just appreciate it if he came forward and tried to explain how he ended up in that intersection.”
Police said they do not believe Melissa Birdsong or Kailee Birdsong was wearing seat belts at the time of the wreck. Alexander was in a child restraint seat in the back seat, police said.
Cary wreck leaves one dead
All three of the Birdsongs were taken to Duke University Hospital in Durham after the wreck. Melissa Birdsong was recovering on Tuesday after undergoing surgery. Alexander sustained non life-threatening injuries.
Robbie Birdsong described his daughter as a typical teenager. “She was extremely aggravating,” he said, “but I want it all back right now.”
Robbie Birdsong said the decision to donate Kailee’s organs was easy. “It’s just the kind of person she was. She would have helped you,” he said.
Kailee’s selflessness may have been a family trait. Her uncle, Jerry Avant Jr., was killed March 29 during a shooting rampage at Pinelake Health and Rehab in Carthage. The 39-year-old nurse was shot more than two dozen times while trying to shield others from a gunman.
Drivers have asked for traffic light at intersection
Robbie Birdsong said the intersection where the wreck occurred has limited sight-distance making it especially dangerous. He, and other drivers, hope a stop light will be placed there.
Another wreck happened at the intersection as a WRAL cameraman was filming video Tuesday afternoon.
"Now that's what I am talking about,” driver Andre Sanders said after watching the collision. “Now they need to do something about this intersection. Somebody is going to die out here again.”
Tim Bailey, Cary's engineering director, said the intersection does not qualify for a light.
"We've done studies at locations like this in the past and to date, it has never met criteria for installing a traffic signal at this location,” Bailey said.
A location must have a high traffic volume or at least five wrecks in a 12 month period to warrant a light, Bailey said. The wreck that claimed Kailee Birdsong’s life was the second at Green Level to Durham Road and Cary Glen Boulevard in a year. The wreck between a Mustang and SUV on Tuesday was the third.
"It’s just a shame that we had to have an accident yesterday (Monday) and another accident today, before they will take any action,” driver Adrian Olivo said.