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Accident Sends SUV Into Creek; Three People Taken To Hospital

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A two-car accident Friday morning on Capital Boulevard sent a sport utility vehicle crashing into Crabtree Creek and sent three people to the hospital.

A white Toyota SUV plunged about 15 feet into the creek, along with the man and woman riding in it, after being struck from behind by another vehicle. Both passengers were conscious and alert when they were taken to the hospital after the accident.

"There was just a loud crash, just screaming," said witness Neil Ward.

The passengers in the SUV were identified as 59-year-old Thomas Hoover and his wife, 56-year-old Sandra Hoover, from Lancaster, Penn.

Thomas Hoover was reported to be in fair condition at Wake Med.

Sandra Hoover was admitted to Wake Med in critical condition.

The other person involved in the accident, 70-year-old Richard Weisel of Chapel Hill, was in good condition at Wake Med.

Authorities said Weisel was driving a Cadillac at more than 70 miles an hour when he hit the SUV. He faces charges of careless and reckless driving and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Sandra Hoover was ejected from the SUV during its descent into the creek and landed on an embankment next to the creek.

Witnesses reported seeing the woman ejected through the SUV's sunroof.

"She had blood coming off her face and arm," Neil said, describing the woman's appearance as she came out of the creek.

Weisel's Cadillac tipped over onto its side against a guardrail, stopping just short of plunging into the creek as well.

Emergency personnel had to cut the roof off the Cadillac and peel it back in order to extricate Weisel.

According to witnesses, Weisel drove through a red light at the intersection of Capital and Brentwood while traveling northbound on Capital and rear-ended the SUV. The SUV then crashed through the guardrail and dropped about 15 feet into the creek.

Witnesses said the scene of the crime was very chaotic and marveled at the fact that Weisel and the Hoovers weren't hurt worse than they were.

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