Local News

Paper carrier gets impaled on fence

Posted August 31, 2009

— A carrier for The Fayetteville Observer newspaper was impaled on a wrought-iron fence for more than two hours early Monday, police said.

Kevin Williams, 51, was treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and was released to recover at home.

Kevin Williams, paper carrier impaled on fence Passerby rescues man stuck on fence

Williams said he mistakenly threw a bundle of papers into an alley on the 200 block of Old Street at about 3 a.m. and scaled the fence to retrieve the papers.

"After pulling off, I realized that I threw the wrong set of newspapers over there," he said. "If I had just left them there, I would have been short newspapers."

He said he made it over the fence without a problem, but when he tried to climb back over to continue his deliveries, a spike atop the fence gouged into his left calf. He found himself dangling upside-down, bleeding and alone.

"On a scale from one to 10 – 10 being the worst pain – it was about a 10," he said. "Blood just kept running out of that the whole time I was there."

Williams said he used his belt to keep his head elevated as much as possible. He said he was able to pull his calf off the fence after about 90 minutes, but his right foot remained entangled in the fence.

"I was scared, and I was praying that I don't want to die this way," he said. "I wasn't panicking. I was just concerned that nobody would come around."

At about 5:30 a.m., a passerby heard his cries for help. The man, who declined to give his name, said he called 911 and gave Williams some water to drink while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Williams said he severed two arteries in his leg and lost about a quart of blood during the ordeal. He needed 16 stitches to close the gash in his leg and was sent home with a leg brace.

He has delivered newspapers for nine years and said he plans to continue in the job once he recovers.

"Next time I lose a paper, it' s just lost," he said.

The incident is the second time in three months that someone was impaled on a wrought-iron fence in Fayetteville.

In May, an 11-year-old girl nearly had her arm severed when she was caught on a fence while trying to get to a swimming pool.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Bubbette Aug 31, 2009

    Yeah... it's that nasty ole fence fault... boohoo.

  • Adelinthe Aug 31, 2009


    Sending prayers for the fellow.

    God bless.


  • OBX4us Aug 31, 2009

    I delivered papers for four years. I understand the downfalls of a missed paper, but I still wouldn't attempt to climb a fence of any kind. It's 3:00 am, people are asleep and they hear a noise. They see a person climbing a fence. NOPE, not me!

  • Eduardo1 Aug 31, 2009

    its a shame thieves are not impaled the same way!

  • blueridgerunner Aug 31, 2009

    Moral of the story: Don't climb fences.

  • Rickezdad Aug 31, 2009

    Some of you don't understand. I work for a newspaper as a carrier. Some of these routes are out in the middle of nowhere so he might not have been near a store to get another paper out of a machine. Plus, carriers run on a tight time schedule. Also, when carriers are penalized for not delivering a paper, it is not for the cost of the paper, it could be more like $5.00. Several of these add up real quick. That could be the reason he was trying to get the paper back.

  • kellyaustin96 Aug 31, 2009

    Wait a minute! What is a newspaper? Is that like an antique internet or something? People pay for subjective news? Wah-hahahahahahaha!

    That is the real story here.

  • Garnerwolf1 Aug 31, 2009

    Some folks need to watch Forrest Gump again. "Stupid is as stupid does."

  • FromClayton Aug 31, 2009

    ok people...fences are put up to keep people out. If people try to climb over said fences and then injure or kill themselves, it is not the fault of the fence or the fence owner. It is the faught of the fence climber who did not get the point of a fence. I am soooo expecting to see a law against fences any minute now.

  • veekee Aug 31, 2009

    Well, you don't know that the guy was trying to save a 25 cent paper, maybe he had gotten in trouble or something for throwing papers in wrong place. People do complain a lot, just look at comments on any story here to see the evidence.