Woman survives crash with tractor-trailer
DAILY NEWS STAFF
A tractor-trailer collided with a car Thursday morning on U.S. 258 near the Onslow County Multipurpose Complex, requiring rescuers to extract a woman from her vehicle.
Connie Dail McClain, 53, of Richlands Highway in Richlands, was driving her 1999 Chrysler 300 southbound on U.S. 258 around 6:30 a.m. when she drifted across the center lane and into the path of a 2003 Kenworth tractor-trailer driven by Phillip Smith Jr., 43, of Fayetteville, according to Highway Patrol Trooper R.E. Dudley. Smith was driving the tractor-trailer for Carolina Tank Lines, based in Burlington.
The front left of McClain’s vehicle struck the front left of the tractor-trailer near the fuel tank, Dudley said. The car spun around and came to rest on the roadway, he said.
Emergency rescuers extracted McClain from the vehicle, and she was taken to Onslow Memorial Hospital. She was later transferred to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where she was listed in fair condition, according to the nursing coordinator.
Smith tried to avoid the collision, Dudley said. He swerved into the southbound lanes, then back to the right, and jack-knifed as the tractor-trailer went off the road and hit a utility pole, Dudley said.
Smith was uninjured, Dudley added.
“There was some fuel out of the tank on the ground,” he said. “It was not a major hazardous materials incident by any stretch.”
It is unclear why McClain drifted into oncoming traffic.
“The investigation is still ongoing; I haven’t had an opportunity to speak with her because of her physical condition,”
Traffic had to be rerouted until 10:30 a.m., said Onslow Sheriff Ed Brown. Deputies directed traffic up Hines Farm Road and into the Burton Industrial Park through a back entrance, and then back onto U.S. 258, he said.
“I cringe to think what the traffic would have been like this morning if it hadn’t been for the access (to the industrial park),” Brown said.