Local News

Siblings injured in wreck near Panther Creek High School

Posted September 16, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014

— A brother and sister who attend Panther Creek High School were seriously hurt in a wreck Tuesday morning when the SUV they were in collided with a dump truck near the Cary school.

Police Lt. Steve Wilkins said the wreck happened around 7:30 a.m. on N.C. Highway 55, at McCrimmon Parkway, when Spencer Saunders, 16, of Morrisville, turned left onto McCrimmon into the path of the southbound truck.

The truck, which was hauling gravel to a local job site, hit the passenger-side of the SUV, injuring siblings Ryan Yost, 16, and Laura Yost, 15.

Both were taken by ambulance to Duke University Hospital, where Laura Yost underwent surgery for her injuries.

"The parents contacted the really-close friends and said her brain had swelled and her heart stopped, and she was going into a medically induced coma," said friend Hailey Clardy.

Clardy, a sophomore, said Laura was in the Chevrolet Blazer's back seat and that her brother was in the front passenger-side.

"They’re the closest siblings I ever met," she said. "They share a lot of the same friends, so they were always together. They are really playful toward each other, so you can just tell they are close."

Following the wreck, students across Wake County began tweeting about the incident using the hashtag #PrayForLauraYost.

Students at Panther Creek High School gathered Wednesday morning outside the school to pray for the families involved. Many students at Panther Creek and other local schools wore blue to school to honor the Yost siblings and Saunders.

Wilkins said the wreck is under investigation but that there's nothing to suggest that alcohol, drugs or excessive speed were factors.

Saunders, also a Panther Creek student, went to the hospital as a precaution, Wilkins said, but neither he nor the truck's driver, Jerry Middleton, 64, of Creedmoor, were injured.

"It's a busy intersection. We have had crashes here before, but it's not one where we have a lot of crashes, but it is a busy intersection," Wilkins said. "So, an important part of that is that folks just have to be patient. There's so much traffic that you really have to be careful."

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, 29 wrecks – none of them fatal – have been reported in the area between January 2011 and July 2014. Most were rear-end wrecks but seven involved left-hand turns.

Clardy, who rides to school with her sister, said turning left can be especially difficult for inexperienced drivers.

"It's a lot of just guessing and committing to it, and you either make it or you don't," she said. "It's scary."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Naysayer Sep 17, 2014

    I hope the girl is okay, it was a very bad accident, I drove by it on my way to work. That whole area is dangerous, between turns at Green Hope High and Panther Creek.

  • GALNC Sep 17, 2014

    My prayers to those in the accident. Accidents happen. Instead of being a backseat driver or saying rude remarks... lets pray for those who are injured to recover.

  • brendamorris Sep 17, 2014

    maybe a protected green/red arrow light would be helpful. If this area is close to a school than it would be a good idea.

  • Mods Hate Me Sep 17, 2014

    View quoted thread

    How were the siblings doing "stupid things?" They were passengers and had no control over the situation. The inexperienced driver made a major mistake, but the siblings don't deserve your harsh words. I must admit that in all my years on this earth, I've never actual seen a perfect person. It's good to finally find one in you, since you must have never made a mistake in your life.

  • jdo823 Sep 17, 2014

    Left turn MUST YIELD to oncoming traffic!
    The busy intersection doesn't create crashes.
    I've seen too many drivers making right turn on RED without even stopping or yield to on-coming traffic. That is consider running a RED Light.
    Where are cops on Cary Parkway?

  • Bill Stealey Sep 17, 2014
    user avatar

    I drove that stretch again this morning and I feel bad for the folks injured in the wreck but how could they have missed that Truck? The road is completely flat and there are no obstructions. From the intersection I clocked .8 miles of unobstructed view. If you have to guess whether to turn or not at that intersection you probably need to go back for more training.

  • John Booker Sep 17, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Good to know we've met one perfect person... take a bow. If you met the parents would you tell them that their kid is stupid? I think not.

  • Jason Merrill Sep 17, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    They are required to have license plates. They are on the front of the trucks in most cases.

  • Mark Taylor Sep 17, 2014
    user avatar

    Drove by this accident just after it happened, before First Responders were on the scene. Saw a young person looking into the back passenger side window..didn't think anything of it. Now that I've read this, feel a bit sick knowing what happened and where the girl was sitting. Prayers to the family...cannot even imagine their state of mind.

  • LocalYokel Sep 17, 2014

    If you think driving is about "guessing" and "committing" then you do not deserve to drive. Please turn in your license before you hurt someone. That's how people die on our roads.

    Phrases like "good judgement", "driving defensively", "discipline", "patience" and "paying attention" are characteristics we want you to have on our roads.