Two North Carolina residents are dead after a three-car auto accident. The victims' 22-month-old child was trapped inside the wrecked car for almost half an hour before being rescued, at which time she was transported by helicopter to the University of North Carolina Hospital to be treated for serious injuries. She remains at the hospital in stable condition. Two other individuals involved in the crash were also taken to area medical facilities and released shortly after being treated.
According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the fatal crash occurred shortly before 10 p.m. on Interstate 40, when one of the victims lost control of her car and veered off the road into a grassy area between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the highway. The car then plowed through a guardrail and into the westbound lanes, where it was hit by another vehicle. Both cars were then struck by a third, causing the second and third vehicles to be pushed off the road while the victims' car came to rest on the road.
The 20-year-old driver and 22-year-old passenger of the first vehicle were killed in the wreck, according to police. In addition to the other reported injuries, the driver of one of the other vehicles sustained minor injuries.
The NCHP announced that it does not appear that any of the drivers were inebriated or traveling at unsafe speeds at the time of the fatal accident. It is not clear whether the NCHP plans to continue its investigation of the crash, or whether the case is closed. Police suspect the crash may have been caused by a blown tire.
Source: WRAL.com, "Couple killed in I-40 wreck; young daughter critically injured," Nov. 18, 2011