Luther Carbon “Tony” Russell, who turned 43 Wednesday, telephoned a friend from the road to complain of not feeling well, according to police. He then called a deacon at his church at 7 a.m. to say he had been hurt in an accident and was stuck in a ditch between two trees.
The last call originated from a cell tower at exit 14 on I-95 in Lumberton, police said. Calls back to him have gone unanswered.
Russell is believed to have been driving his burgundy 1998 Mazda 626, license plate NC VTV 5380. He is a black male, 5 feet 11 inches tall.
Russell, who works at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Hope Mills, began his shift at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Cumberland County Sheriff's officials. Around 5:30 a.m., he notified his manager that he was not feeling well and was going to Duke Hospital.
Authorities are not sure if Russell was going to Duke Hospital in Durham or the Duke Hospital Annex facility in Lumberton, also known as Duke Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Investigators said Russell usually travels on Interstate 95 before taking I-40 to Duke Medical Center, but he may have taken back roads.
Anyone with information about Russell's whereabouts or an accident involving a car matching the description of Russell's vehicle is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at 910-677-5432.
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