ROCKINGHAM — An SUV ran off the road and flipped onto its roof Sunday evening, wounding several passengers and closing a stretch of Old Charlotte Highway west of the city.
State troopers are investigating the wreck, which happened around 8:10 p.m. outside 5914 Old Charlotte Highway. Paramedics and volunteer firefighters freed several people from the overturned van.
The names and conditions of the vehicle’s passengers were not immediately available. N.C. Highway Patrol dispatchers said Trooper J.C. Lindley is investigating the crash. Lindley couldn’t be reached Monday.
The crash drew a crowd of anxious onlookers who whispered in hushed tones as they watched the rescue effort. Becky and Charles Brown rushed to the scene when they realized how many first-responders were arriving.
“I saw the fire truck go by and then all of a sudden, we see ambulance, ambulance, ambulance,” Becky Brown said. “As we were coming out, the fifth ambulance went by. We just wanted to see what it was. We’re concerned about our neighbors.”
More than two-dozen people looked on as paramedics eased passengers from the crumpled vehicle, placed them on backboards and carried them gingerly to waiting ambulances.
“I’m praying for them,” Brown said. “It just goes to show you how quick things can happen. It’s scary when you see something like that and think about all of us who drive. It could happen to any of us.”
A neighbor who lives several houses down said her husband saw what looked like smoke and called her outside. The woman, who declined to give her name, said she called 911 and learned the crash already had been reported and first-responders were on the way. Cordova volunteer firefighters and Cordova Rescue emergency medical technicians responded to the wreck along with FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital paramedics, N.C. Highway Patrol troopers and Richmond County sheriff’s deputies.
A portion of Old Charlotte Highway west of Rockingham was closed for more than two hours Sunday night as troopers investigated the crash.