2 Adults, 1 Child Killed in Multi-Vehicle Wreck
Posted December 18, 2006 2:23 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2006 12:21 a.m. EST
Shortly after 3 p.m., a silver Nissan Pathfinder was traveling northbound on Reilly Road when it drove through a gold Honda Accord that was stopped at the light at Fillyaw Road, Fayetteville police said.
The impact caused the Honda to hit a motorcycle that was turning left onto Reilly Road.
The Pathfinder then went airborne and hit a Mercury Grand Marquis, bounced off and hit a burgundy van.
"I saw a silver SUV going through the air," said witness Kevin Cogburn. "As it was going through the stoplights, it barrel-rolled and then landed up against the little maroon van."
"We saw parts flying everywhere. We just saw a big mess like a big cloud of smoke," said Albert Begley, a worker at a nearby auto dealership and one of the first responders to the scene.
The passengers of the Honda Accord -- a woman and a child -- and the motorcyclist died at the scene, authorities said.
"There was a quilt hanging out of the back of the little gold car," Cogburn said. "I took the quilt and covered up one of the bodies just because it was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life."
The identities of the victims have not been released, but witnesses said the motorcyclist was a 48-year-old retired member of the military.
"I started to undo his jacket," Begley said. "It was tight around his neck, and at that time, we couldn't feel a pulse, so we stopped doing it. We figured he was gone."
Two people inside the van and the driver of the Pathfinder were transported to a local hospital, where there conditions were not immediately known.
Local residents describe the intersection as dangerous and say that drivers traveling to and from Fort Bragg are often in a rush. Investigators are still trying to determine whether speed was a factor in the wreck.
The accident occurred about two hours after a previous wreck in which a dump truck hit a fire truck and grazed two other vehicles on Santa Fe Drive at the All-American Freeway.
That wreck occurred at about 1:15 p.m. when the dump truck, which was exiting the freeway on the southbound exit ramp onto Santa Fe Drive, ran a red light and hit a Fayetteville fire truck, police said.
The truck then grazed a Mercury Sport minivan, which was traveling west, and then hit the left front side of an 18-wheeler, which was traveling east.
Diesel fuel from the tractor-trailer spilled, and one of the vehicles hit a utility pole, which caused a traffic light to sag, Fayetteville police spokeswoman Jamie Smith said.
A battery thrown out of one truck also caught fire. Firefighters were shaken up by the accident but were able to extinguish the fire, she said.
The drivers of the 18-wheeler and dump truck were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. Three firefighters were also transported for observation. The driver of the mini-van and a four-year-old passenger were not hurt.
The wreck also remain under investigation. Names of those involved have not been released.