Local News

18 Injured After Tractor-Trailer Hits Van Near Rocky Mount

Posted July 29, 2003 1:53 a.m. EDT

— Eighteen people were injured early Monday morning after the van they were riding in was struck by a tractor-trailer along Interstate 95 in Rocky Mount.

The state Highway Patrol said the wreck happened at 5:55 a.m. at the northbound exit ramp off of I-95 heading to West Mount Drive.

Troopers said the driver of the tractor-trailer, Edward Amos Mikell Jr., of Pennsylvania, was trying to turn left onto I-95 from West Mount Drive when the truck slammed into the van.

The van was transporting mrigrant workers, 13 men and five women, to work at a nearby melon farm.

Mayola Sanchez, who was sitting in the first seat behind the driver, said he was half asleep until he heard the brakes of the van screeching. He said he woke up and saw the truck in front of him.

All of the passengers were transported to Nash General Hospital. Three van passengers who suffered serious injuries were later transported to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening. Some of the passengers were treated and released.

While Sanchez' back is sore, he is not upset about what happened.

"It was an accident. It could happen to anyone," he said through an interpreter.

Mikell was charged with failure to yield.

Juan Rodriguez, the driver of the van, was charged with overloading/overcrowding a vehicle and driving without an operator's license.