One family is dealing with the loss of a family member, along with cracked and bruised ribs and other injuries, resulting from a vehicle collision when a car ran a stop sign Friday night in Cordova, survivors said.
A truck with four people in it was heading west on Ledbetter Road when it was struck on the right side and toppled over at 8:57 p.m. The other vehicle, a Dodge Neon with two people in it, failed to stop at the stop sign where Old Cheraw Highway intersects with Ledbetter Road, according to police.
The truck “overturned once then landed upright on all four wheels,” after the impact, said State Trooper Chance Lindley. Donna McLean, 48, of Rockingham, who was riding in the passenger side, was killed and two-and-a-half-year-old Dalton Chavis in the seat behind her was ejected from the vehicle. McLean was not wearing a seat belt, and investigation is under way to determine if Dalton Chavis was wearing a seat belt, police said. Police also said they are unable to verify whether the child was strapped into a child seat until the investigation is completed.
Donna McLean’s funeral was Tuesday.
According to McLean’s daughter Erica Chavis, 26, who was also in the truck being driven by her stepfather Tony McLean, 57, the family was returning from Relay for Life, which was held at Rockingham Speedway Friday night, and Chavis and her son were getting a ride to their house with her mother and stepfather. Chavis said the collision occurred within walking distance of both of their homes.
“I was tossed around in the car,” said Erica Chavis. “I went to the E.R. the night of the crash and went home with some scratches, but then I went back Sunday because my right arm was bruised, and I have bruises on my ribs, face and bumps on my head.”
Erica Chavis and her stepdad Tony McLean both went to Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham the night of the crash. Tony McLean left the hospital treated for cracked ribs. Chavis was thankful that her child was in good spirits on Tuesday.
“He was flown to Chapel Hill that night but he’s walking around like nothing happened today,” said Chavis. “He has a concussion and a bone near his hip is fractured. God was really watching over him.”
Police said the driver of the Dodge Neon, Jerry Kimball, 25, of Hamlet, and his passenger Tommy Whitley, 24, of Rockingham, were both taken to Sandhills Regional Hospital in Hamlet, but hospital staff had no information on the two.
According to State Highway Patrol Troopers Hugh Dixon and Lindley who responded to the scene, both vehicles were totalled in the collision.
Dixon said the collision resulted in four seriously injured people who were transported to the hospital by FirstHealth EMS. Cordova Fire & Rescue also responded to the scene. The condition of Kimball and Whitley is not known.
According to Dixon, road conditions were dry and the driver of the Dodge Neon was not intoxicated, but may have been using a cellphone. Dixon said he will attempt to pull phone files to verify if the driver’s cell phone caused a distraction leading to the fatal collision.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.