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North Carolina accident leaves one dead, more injured

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is seeking witnesses to a car accident that left a 25-year-old man dead and four more people injured. Police say the man's vehicle veered across the center line before colliding with a van, but it remains unclear what caused the car to cross the line.

Police say the fatal accident occurred during the morning hours when the deceased's vehicle traveled across the center line and into the path of the van.

Initial reports indicate that the van slammed into the car and tore off its driver's side door and threw it off the road. The collision also removed the car's convertible top, causing it to fly approximately 40 feet. Not wearing a seat belt, the car's driver was then ejected from the car and landed on the side of the road. A helicopter was initially called to transport the man to a medical care facility, but was canceled when emergency response personnel were unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at the crash site.

The van eventually rolled into a ditch. Its tire was stuck in the mud and its front end was smashed in, making it impossible for its occupants to exit the vehicle immediately. Eventually, firefighters were able to used hydraulic tools to pry open the vehicle's doors and retrieve the victims.

Three of the van's four occupants were taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries, though they were deemed not to be life threatening. The fourth occupant, a 5-year-old boy, was taken home by his family. All of the van's occupants were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

Police investigating the crash said the area sees a large amount of traffic, adding that accidents on the stretch of road are not uncommon. Individuals living near the road have called for raised shoulders and other safety precautions to help prevent future accidents. "The speed limit is too high for this road. They need to lower it," said one resident.

Source: Salisbury Post, "Highway Patrol seeks witnesses to fatal wreck," Scott Jenkins, April 12, 2012

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