Local News

Johnston County Accident Injures 14

Posted May 14, 2001 11:45 a.m. EDT

— A traffic accident Sunday morning in Johnston County has left 14 people injured.

The accident happened at the intersection of Routes 1581 and 1551 at the Johnston County--Harnett County line, when 18 year-old Amber Adams of Angier turned left in front of a pickup truck driven by 47 year-old Pedro Aguero of Benson.

Most of the victims were in the back of the truck, where there are no seatbelts, which is legal: North Carolina's strict seatbelt law applies only to people in the front of pickup trucks.

Adams suffered minor injuries. Aguero was flown to UNC Hospitals with critical injuries.

Thirty six-year old Christina Aguero and a 6-year old boy were flown to Duke University Medical Center, both also with critical injuries. The other 8 passengers were less seriously hurt.

It is not clear if the passengers in the cab wore a seatbelt, but those in the back did not have the option.

"Of course, there's not a seatbelt [in the back of pickup trucks]," State Trooper R.A. Capps, Jr. says, "and it's not against the law to ride in the back of a pickup truck."

"Common sense should prevail," says Sergeant Jeff Winstead of the Highway Patrol. "It's not a safe place for people to be. It's not designed for people. The least little problem and people go flying out of the truck."