Three unrestrained children suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle wreck Wednesday evening in Nash County.
Investigators said none of the siblings, aged 11, 13, and 14, had on seatbelts when their mother ran a stop sign on Red Road. The family’s 2017 Chrysler Pacifica collided with a sedan on West Castalia Road at the edge of the Road Oak town limits.
State troopers said the crash sent the three unbuckled children flying from the minivan. Paramedics transported the injured juveniles to Vidant Medical in Pitt County for treatment. Their mother and two other children in the car were not seriously hurt.
Traffic on Castalia Road does not stop, and drivers said speeding is a common issue on the rural road which has a speed limit of 55 miles per hour.
“It’s nothing to see people running 65, 70 miles an hour out here,” said Charles Nelms, who lives on Castalia Road.
“In fact, neighbors at the other end of the road had put some signs up one time to try to slow the traffic down. I don’t know if it worked. It doesn’t appear that it did.”
Investigators said it did not appear that the driver who had the right of way on Castalia was speeding at the time of the crash. State troopers said that man suffered minor injuries.
There are stop signs on the left and right sides of Red Road at the intersection, with a traffic cone at the end of the center yellow line where it runs into Castalia. There used to be stop signs in the middle of the road where the cones now sit, but transportation officials moved them to the left side of the road about a year ago.
Customers at the nearby Four Points General Store said drivers ran into and knocked over the posts in the middle of the road multiple times in recent years.
A clerk at the convenience store said she sees drivers regularly run past the red signs. She and customers including Nelms expressed support for flashing caution lights over the intersection, if not going an extra step to turn it into a four-way stop.
“Anything to help drivers detect oncoming traffic is always good. But you’re in the country, riding along, all of a sudden you see a stop sign and that’s it,” Nelms said. “If you’re in the country and riding at night, it’s easy to look down and not see a stop sign.”
Nelms said he hopes all of the people involved in the wreck will be okay.
CBS 17 is working to get an update on the condition of the crash victims, and will add that information to this story when it becomes available from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.