Local News

Prisoner transport vehicle overturns on I-40 in Durham

Posted July 25, 2011
Updated July 26, 2011

Traffic Accident (generic)

— A detention officer with the Wake County Sheriff's Office was transporting a prisoner from Alamance County Monday night when he wrecked on Interstate 40 in Durham County, authorities said.

A car traveling east on the interstate got onto the exit ramp for the Durham Freeway shortly before 10:30 p.m., but the driver, Prometheus Solon, 18, of Hillsborough, then reconsidered and tried to reenter I-40, troopers said.
While trying to merge back on to the interstate, Solon lost control, slid across all lanes of traffic and hit a guardrail. The car came to rest in the left lane without its lights on.
Detention officer Benjamin Michael Palmer, 28, of Cary, was driving a prisoner transport vehicle when he came upon the wreck. He swerved to avoid hitting the wrecked car, lost control, ran off the road and down an embankment, and then overturned, troopers said. The vehicle landed on its roof.
Only the officer and one prisoner, David Wayne Morrow, 45, were in the vehicle at the time. Both were bruised in the crash and taken to Rex Hospital for treatment.
Solon was charged with an unsafe moving violation.
All eastbound lanes of the interstate near the Durham Freeway exit ramp were closed while authorities were at the scene. They reopened around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.

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  • whocares Jul 26, 2011

    That happened to me. I was going South on 85 at around 9:00 pm when I came upon a car that was completely stopped in the right lane and the driver was looking at a map. The ohly thing I can figure is that he thought he was on the shoulder of the road. Thank goodness there was no one in the other lane.

  • sidecutter Jul 26, 2011

    I came up on this wreck last night where the officer was upside down, barely visible from the exit off 147 onto Alexander. He was a longggggg way from I-40. I tirned around and went to check on the occupants and by that time the Officer was out of the car and on his radio and instructed us to leave. Embarrassed?

  • Desiderata Jul 26, 2011

    These young drivers do NOT have the experience to handle many of driving situations that they get into..they need to SLOW DOWN AND BE ON THE SAFE SIDE OF DECISION MAKING! Glad the officer was ok...seems like an unavoidable situation for him! Some of the posts here are just plain dumb!

  • braddavis Jul 26, 2011

    Sounds like the Detention officer might have been driving to fast to safely avoid the crash. Would like to see if he is cited as well.

    If it were you driving, would you expect to be cited???? Ridiculous

  • NoObamaCare Jul 26, 2011

    Another key factor is that is rained yesterday for the first time, leaving oil residue at the surface of the streets. Glad the Officers is safe!

  • vtfan38 Jul 26, 2011

    @Journey985...Seriously? You think the Detention Officer should be cited? Did you not read the part of the article that said Solon's car came to rest in the left lane WITHOUT ITS LIGHTS ON? Why don't you try traveling on I-40 at 10:30 at night at 65+ MPH and see how your relexes are when you suddenly see a car in your path? I'd be interested to see that outcome...

  • Barf-olomew Jul 26, 2011

    also consider that it was night and Solon's car didn't have lights. Plus, that stretch of the Durham Freeway is rather dark anyway - not much abmbient light nearby.

  • skyyekatfromafar Jul 26, 2011

    Journey985--"sounds more like you've never been in an accident" to me. I've been in a stalled vehicle during rush hour traffic--at dark and you can't believe how fast another vehicle can come up behind you before they realize you (the stalled vehicle) can't move. At best it is one of the scariest moments a human can experience. No, the transporter/driver doesn't need to be cited so stop making an armchair judgment call . .

  • Journey985 Jul 26, 2011

    Sounds like the Detention officer might have been driving to fast to safely avoid the crash. Would like to see if he is cited as well.