Siblings injured in wreck near Panther Creek High School
Three Panther Creek High School students were injured Tuesday morning when the SUV they were in collided with a dump truck near the school.Posted — Updated
Police Lt. Steve Wilkins said the wreck happened around 7:30 a.m. on N.C. Highway 55, at McCrimmon Parkway, when Spencer Saunders, 16, of Morrisville, turned left onto McCrimmon into the path of the southbound truck.
The truck, which was hauling gravel to a local job site, hit the passenger-side of the SUV, injuring siblings Ryan Yost, 16, and Laura Yost, 15.
Both were taken by ambulance to Duke University Hospital, where Laura Yost underwent surgery for her injuries.
"The parents contacted the really-close friends and said her brain had swelled and her heart stopped, and she was going into a medically induced coma," said friend Hailey Clardy.
Clardy, a sophomore, said Laura was in the Chevrolet Blazer's back seat and that her brother was in the front passenger-side.
"They’re the closest siblings I ever met," she said. "They share a lot of the same friends, so they were always together. They are really playful toward each other, so you can just tell they are close."
Following the wreck, students across Wake County began tweeting about the incident using the hashtag #PrayForLauraYost.
Students at Panther Creek High School gathered Wednesday morning outside the school to pray for the families involved. Many students at Panther Creek and other local schools wore blue to school to honor the Yost siblings and Saunders.
Wilkins said the wreck is under investigation but that there's nothing to suggest that alcohol, drugs or excessive speed were factors.
Saunders, also a Panther Creek student, went to the hospital as a precaution, Wilkins said, but neither he nor the truck's driver, Jerry Middleton, 64, of Creedmoor, were injured.
"It's a busy intersection. We have had crashes here before, but it's not one where we have a lot of crashes, but it is a busy intersection," Wilkins said. "So, an important part of that is that folks just have to be patient. There's so much traffic that you really have to be careful."
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, 29 wrecks – none of them fatal – have been reported in the area between January 2011 and July 2014. Most were rear-end wrecks but seven involved left-hand turns.
Clardy, who rides to school with her sister, said turning left can be especially difficult for inexperienced drivers.
"It's a lot of just guessing and committing to it, and you either make it or you don't," she said. "It's scary."
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