Former Tar Heel Hero in 5-Vehicle Accident in Chapel Hill

Posted on Feb 04, 2009
According to the North Carolina News & Observer, a former football player was a lifesaver in a five-vehicle pile-up on I-40 on Monday. The accident took place on the evening of January 26 on Interstate 40 near the Wade Avenue exit in Chapel Hill, NC.

Ex-Tar Heel and former pro football player Clay Robertson was driving by just in time to see a small SUV and a passenger van crash - it appeared that the driver of the Isuzu was trying to exit at the last second across four lanes of traffic, clipping a 18-wheeler and hitting the van after losing control. A second truck hit the Isuzu, causing the big rig to cross over the median and hit a fifth vehicle. The second truck ran off the road into the trees, spilled the trash it was carrying, and caught on fire.

Robertson helped the driver, Robert Leffer of Sanford, escape the burning vehicle. Leffer was on fire and panicking.

North Carolina Highway Patrol members reported that emergency workers arrived at the scene and rushed Leffer to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals, where he was in critical condition.

The man who allegedly started the multi-vehicle crash, 28-year-old Osmar Guillermo Perez-Vicente, is facing multiple charges of reckless driving and driving without a license. Perez-Vicente is also at the hospital, and although his injuries are serious, he is in stable condition and expected to recover.