ROCKINGHAM — A two-vehicle wreck on U.S. 74 Thursday night left one driver hospitalized and another thankful that it wasn’t worse.
A green Chevrolet Tahoe suffered a broken drive shaft, forcing the driver to pull off onto the left side of the highway and was “partially in the roadway,” according to Trooper Erik Johnson, of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
The passengers — a man, woman and at least one child — got out of the vehicle and behind the guardrail to wait for help. While they waited, a black Range Rover plowed into the rear of the vehicle and spun out into the middle of the highway spraying glass shards, a tire and other debris in every direction.
The driver of the Range Rover, a female, was considered for a helicopter evacuation but instead was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital by ambulance to be treated for mild to severe injuries which Johnson said were “not life threatening.”
She had two cats in a cage in the vehicle at the time of the wreck, but they appeared to be unharmed and were taken to safety by a sheriff’s deputy working on behalf Richmond County Animal Control, which was engaged in another call on the other side of town, according to the officer.
Traffic was backed up for several hundred yards from about 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. while emergency crews cleared the road. While they worked, the driver of the Tahoe removed stuffed animals, toys and a car seat from the vehicle. He said he was “traumatized” by the wreck and added that “someone almost lost a life tonight.”
Johnson could not be reached on Friday for additional information.
Rockingham Rescue, Cordova Fire and Rescue and Animal Control were also on the scene.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org.