The driver of a propane truck that crashed near Raeford on February 28, resulting in U.S. Highway 401 being closed overnight, is listed in critical condition at UNC Hospitals from the personal injuries he suffered.


According to a UNC Hospitals spokesman, 41-year-old Raeford resident David M. Purcell was in critical condition as of the morning of March 1.


The propane tanker and a pickup truck collided around 1 p.m., causing the highway to be closed between North Parker Church and Johnson Mill and Scull roads. The road was reopened around 5:15 a.m. the next morning after emergency workers spent the night burning propane from the wrecked 2,200-gallon tanker.


The tanker truck, registered to Ferrellgas, was traveling in the direction of Raeford when a Chevrolet pickup truck, driven by 23-year-old Leslie Trent Hatchell, attempted to turn left off of U.S. 401 onto Hobson Road, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. T.D. Simmons. The impact caused both vehicles to leave the road.


Hatchell and a passenger in the tanker, 30-year-old Marvin Eugene Blackwell received transport to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Hatchell was released after being treated. Blackwell was listed in good condition.

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