Local News

Police: Two, not three, die in Sanford wreck

Posted June 1, 2010 4:47 p.m. EDT
Updated June 2, 2010 8:44 a.m. EDT

— Sanford police say initial reports stating that three cousins died in a crash on Jefferson Davis Highway early Saturday were incorrect.

Authorities reported on Saturday that Edwin Perez Hernandez, Fermin Patrocinio Perez, 27, and Claudia Baudililo Hernandez, 34, died in the crash. The cousins all lived at 1212 Burns Drive in Sanford.

In a Tuesday afternoon news release, police said that investigating officers were told by an emergency room doctors that Claudia Hernandez was brain dead and would be transported to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for organ donation. A follow-up later revealed that he was still alive, police said.

Police said doctors told them that, after his neurological functions improved, they removed Claudia Hernandez from the donor list. He was listed in critical condition at the hospital on Tuesday.

Sanford police continued to search Tuesday for the driver of a burgundy Nissan truck involved in the wreck.

Crash witness Max Lino said he saw the driver, Hugo Alfredo Hernandez, "crawl out of the truck and stagger off toward Spring Lane."

Police said it appeared that the truck was traveling south on Jefferson Davis Highway when it went off the road, skidded down an embankment, overturned twice and ended up on Douglas Drive some time before 1:30 a.m.

"He was going way too fast and jumped the curve,” Lino said.

Lino said he ran to help after he saw the truck flip. A man he thought was the driver asked him to take the injured home, he said. Lino said he called 911 instead.

"After that, he (the driver) started walking away from the scene,” Lino said.

Edwin Perez Hernandez and Perez died at the scene, authorities said.

Police brought in dogs to try and locate the driver, who is believed to also be badly injured. He has not been found.

If you have any information on Hugo Hernandez's whereabouts, call Sanford police at 919-775-8268.