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Driver never expected to survive dump-truck ordeal

Kara Benton thinks it was a miracle that she survived after being pinned beneath an overturned dump truck and its load for more than two hours.

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APEX, N.C. — A woman who spent nearly two hours trapped inside her car when a dump truck overturned and spilled its cargo said she never expected to survive the ordeal.

Kara Benton and her husband were driving along Davis Drive in Apex Tuesday evening when the truck went off the road and eventually collided with her Honda Civic.

"I think it's a miracle that I'm still here," Benton, 25, said Thursday. "As soon as I saw the truck getting ready to fall on top of us, I thought, 'This will be the last breath I ever breathe.'"

Benton's husband, Chad, was able to escape with no significant injuries, but she was pinned beneath the car's collapsed roof. She is recovering from a bruised lung as well as scrapes and scratches.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the dump truck's driver, Edmund Theodore Jackson, 52, of New Haven, Conn., was driving the Freightliner when he ran off the road, overcorrected and struck Benton.

Authorities charged him with one count of reckless driving.

Benton said she credits paramedic Lisa Plunkett for helping her stay calm. Plunkett crawled into the flattened Civic and waited with her.

"I couldn't see her face when I was in the car, just because I had very limited mobility of my head, and she was off to the side," Benton said. "But she was great. She did an excellent job."

In an interview Wednesday, Plunkett said she was only doing her job. "I did what any other paramedic would have done," she said.

"There's not enough words to thank her, to show how much I appreciate what she did for me," Benton said.

Kara Benton was released from the hospital on Thursday.

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Beau Minnick, Reporter
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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