Survivor recounts fatal I-40 chain-reaction crash
Posted February 5, 2015
Clayton, N.C. — Judy Barefoot said it took a split second for three cars to slam into each other Tuesday morning on Interstate 40 in Garner, killing one man.
"All of a sudden, I saw this car coming across the median, and I knew it was out of control," Barefoot said Thursday at her Clayton home.
According to the State Highway Patrol, an SUV cut in front of a Pontiac Trans Am driven by Paul Eric Rosequist on eastbound I-40 near the Jones Sausage Road exit, causing Rosequist to swerve. The Trans Am veered across the highway median into the westbound lanes.
Rosequist's car hit a Chevrolet Impala, which then struck Barefoot's Kia Sorrento, and the Trans Am then slammed into a guard rail.
"It just exploded, car parts everywhere," said Barefoot, 70, who was taking her cancer-stricken husband, George, to Raleigh for a doctor's appointment.
Meanwhile, she struggled to hold the wheel to keep from hitting the trees all around her as the Sorrento skidded off the highway.
"When we finally got stopped, there was a tree on each side of us. She went right between them," George Barefoot said. "She done wonderful."
Judy Barefoot then surveyed the wreckage.
"I said, 'Whoever was in that car, I'm afraid they didn't make it,'" she recalled.
Rosequist, 62, of Garner, died at the scene, while Judy Barefoot and the Impala's driver, Elizabeth Langdon, 66, of Clayton, were taken to WakeMed. Langdon remained in the hospital Thursday.
The Highway Patrol is looking for the burgundy Chevrolet SUV or GMC Envoy, and Judy Barefoot said she hopes troopers find the driver.
"Whoever was driving that car, they need to contact someone, and let's bring closure to this. We need to bring closure to this. That's the right thing to do," she said.
Duane Mote, who was driving a transfer truck carrying two Humvees from Raleigh to Wilmington for the North Carolina Army National Guard and saw the crash, said he doesn't think the SUV driver realized he or she caused the wreck.
"I don't believe he made contact with the vehicle," Mote said, adding that it's still important for the driver to come forward. "I hope they track this vehicle down and get their point of view."
Anyone who has information about the crash or can identify the driver of the SUV is asked to call the Highway Patrol at 919-733-3861 or 919-733-4400.