One Vehicle Accident Critically Injures Passenger
A man and his wife were trapped inside their SUV for nearly 45 minutes, before being rescued.
The accident occurred on U.S. 52 and Newsome Street Monday afternoon.
The driver of the vehicle, Charles Richard Hatfield, 66, and his wife, Brenda, 70, of Mount Airy were transported to separate hospital for injuries. Mrs. Hatfield was transported by AirCare to Wake Forest Baptist Health in critical, but stable condition. Mr. Hatfield was transported to Northern Hospital of Surry County in stable condition.
Shannon Tolbert, an eyewitness, stated she was sitting behind the SUV at the light at Carter Street and U.S. 52. She stated the SUV slowed down as if it was going to stop, but then ran the light and down a steep embankment. She said it appeared he had some kind of medical condition. She said it seemed that something occurred to make him pull the light.
Tim Gravely stopped to offer assistance. Lots of smoke was coming from the vehicle and the couple was having a hard time breathing. Gravely used a tire iron to knock out a window. The couple asked Gravely to switch the ignition off, but he was unable to do so.
The SUV came to rest on its side. Both the Mount Airy Rescue and the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squads cut the top of the vehicle off to rescue the Hatfields.
According to Gravely, Mrs. Hatfield did not appear to be buckled up. She was lying on top of her husband. Mrs. Hatfield was on oxygen. She was badly banged up, had a cut on her forehead & was bleeding profusely.
The accident is being investigated by the Mount Airy Police Department.
Mr. Hatfield has no recollection of what happened.