Local News

Paper carrier gets impaled on fence

Posted August 31, 2009 12:48 p.m. EDT
Updated August 31, 2009 6:52 p.m. EDT

— A carrier for The Fayetteville Observer newspaper was impaled on a wrought-iron fence for more than two hours early Monday, police said.

Kevin Williams, 51, was treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and was released to recover at home.

Williams said he mistakenly threw a bundle of papers into an alley on the 200 block of Old Street at about 3 a.m. and scaled the fence to retrieve the papers.

"After pulling off, I realized that I threw the wrong set of newspapers over there," he said. "If I had just left them there, I would have been short newspapers."

He said he made it over the fence without a problem, but when he tried to climb back over to continue his deliveries, a spike atop the fence gouged into his left calf. He found himself dangling upside-down, bleeding and alone.

"On a scale from one to 10 – 10 being the worst pain – it was about a 10," he said. "Blood just kept running out of that the whole time I was there."

Williams said he used his belt to keep his head elevated as much as possible. He said he was able to pull his calf off the fence after about 90 minutes, but his right foot remained entangled in the fence.

"I was scared, and I was praying that I don't want to die this way," he said. "I wasn't panicking. I was just concerned that nobody would come around."

At about 5:30 a.m., a passerby heard his cries for help. The man, who declined to give his name, said he called 911 and gave Williams some water to drink while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Williams said he severed two arteries in his leg and lost about a quart of blood during the ordeal. He needed 16 stitches to close the gash in his leg and was sent home with a leg brace.

He has delivered newspapers for nine years and said he plans to continue in the job once he recovers.

"Next time I lose a paper, it' s just lost," he said.

The incident is the second time in three months that someone was impaled on a wrought-iron fence in Fayetteville.

In May, an 11-year-old girl nearly had her arm severed when she was caught on a fence while trying to get to a swimming pool.