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Troopers: Driver beaten after accidentally hitting man

Posted March 20, 2011
Updated March 22, 2011

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— Bystanders severely beat a driver who accidentally hit a man running from a mobile home park near Henderson where large fights broke out Saturday night, state troopers said Sunday.

Troopers said the driver, who didn't want his name released out of concerns for his safety, was driving down Raleigh Road in Kittrell to get his son a late-night snack from Burger King around 9:15 p.m. Several large fights were taking place in a nearby mobile home park, troopers said.

Reuben Wright, 19, of Henderson, ran out into the road in front of the car, and the driver had no time to see him or stop, troopers said. Wright's head crashed through the front windshield.

Troopers said bystanders from both sides of the road rushed out into the street, dragged the driver from his car and assaulted him, nearly beating him to death.

He has been released from Maria Parham Medical Center, but his lung is still in danger of collapsing.

"The driver had cuts and bruises all over his head, all over his back," said Trooper B.E. Pulliam of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Wright was flown to Duke University Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition Sunday evening. He suffered serious head trauma and fractures in both his legs, according to Wright's friends.

Crowd assaults man after accidental crash Crowd assaults man after accidental crash

Cindy Harris, of Kittrell, watched the attack and stopped to help the victim. She said she flashed her lights and held her horn down for five minutes to get the crowd to scatter. 

"I'm very angry," she said. "It was just a brutal, brutal beating."

She described how they pulled him from the car, and said four or five people kicked him repeatedly while one man sat on him and pushed his head into the cement.

"(I thought) they're gonna kill him, they're gonna kill him," she said. Though she felt powerless to help, "I couldn't leave him," Harris said.

The driver was eventually rescued from the scene in the truck of another bystander until paramedics arrived.

Bruce Coleman, a friend of Wright, said he didn't know the driver was injured.

"My attention was focused on Reuben," he said.

The Vance County Sheriff's Office is investigating the assault and no charges have been filed yet.

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  • NCAries Mar 23, 2011

    @ JoCo Gun Owner

    I don't have to justify it to understand it and my point of view has developed over time. It didn't start out that way.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Mar 23, 2011

    If I owned that park, everyone involved in the fighting would be evicted.

  • Arapaloosa Mar 23, 2011

    NCAries, are you SERIOUSLY trying to justify this kind of barbaric, animal behavior?!? You are unbelievable! The attitude that you just expressed is the epitomy of the race problem in America.

  • NCAries Mar 22, 2011

    What goes through peoples heads to make them have no respect for human life??
    bk3

    It's learned behavior...people disrespect you long enough, eventually you stop respecting people...certain ones first, anyone before it's over.

  • NCAries Mar 22, 2011

    this country was founded on equal protections and the rule of law, and there's a very good reason why vigilantism and mob rule are no longer tolerated.

    That is not what this country was founded on....get real. That is exactly why things like this happen because of the way this country was founded. America is just older and her attitude hasn't changed much. She's just a bit more creative at hiding her feelings.

  • heelbilly Mar 22, 2011

    savage = 1)wild,uncivilized..
    2)brutal,cruel.. pretty much sums it up !

  • weasel2 Mar 22, 2011

    Guess the NAACP wont touch this one???

  • seriouslyrevoked Mar 22, 2011

    Balderdash! Same rule? In a mixed neighborhood 5 times more likely to be in a crime, white women married to a black man 7 times more likely to be murdered, black on white rape is off the chart, out of wedlock births over 60%, bullying blacks at school who try to achieve, to act as though it is the "systems fault" is code for attacking others. There are roving gangs of blacks who go on "wildings", to look for whites to attack. Cosby, Williams, Steele, and other Black leaders are ignored. White educated liberals make it possible for poor young blacks to feel justified in their anger. It isn't hard to understand it will never change if these actions can be blamed on society rather than oneself or community. It is those of us who keep treating blacks as wounded inferior persons who are partly to blame. Trillions of affirmative action dollars has only made it worse. Lowering test scores and standards are not the answer. This self hatred that we all suffer under must be called for what it is

  • aloznicka Mar 22, 2011

    When there are arrest made and justice has been served you will be told the truth not by the one that was beaten he had no one except the lady that stopped in the middle of the road a blew the horn and had to watch this nightmare. She is an angel sent straight from heaven, what a brave act on her part (Ms. Harris) There was also a man that had stopped and got him in the back oh the truck and attempted to get him to safety(not to flee the scene) with the beaters running behind his truck trying to pull him out! Then that want good enough they had to try and get to him in the ambulance! The by standers knew what had happened and still beat this man, was there not a person in this whole bunch that would say stop beating him? Where they to drunk to have self control if so deserve a long term rehab PRISON for life! The man was not drunk as was the by standers were trying to say. He was an innocent man trying to get home on a public highway! He did not go up in a yard and hit somebody

  • katkins01 Mar 22, 2011

    "The problem would be better managed if the situation was 'good people vs bad people' instead of 'black/white vs white/black', and we would be creating a better world during the process." wordologist

    I don't disagree with what you're saying at all, but the issue is that everyone is not playing by the same rules and if - if general- the deck is consistently stacked against one race in favor of another, to the extent that the former is ignored and called "racist" for pointing it out, there is no choice but to retaliate. Double standards do not work. Never have and never will. Living together in peace takes a commitment from the majority and I don't think we have that. I don't know that we ever did.

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