Three people are seriously injured in an explosive, fiery head-on crash and some are calling the off-duty Army Captain who helped rescue them a hero.
The crash happened Sunday around 3:00 p.m. on O’Kelly Chapel Road near Highway 751 in Chatham County. The Highway Patrol charged Mark Ricketts, 59, of Cary, with traveling left of center, after his silver Chrysler SUV collided head-on with a red Acura sedan.
William Thompson, 67, of Cary, was driving the Acura. His wife, Kathleen Thompson, 63, of Cary, was in the passenger seat. They were trapped inside. All three people involved were transported to UNC Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Several neighbors sprung into action as heavy smoke and flames engulfed the Chrysler and threatened the Acura.
Everett Bacon grabbed several fire extinguishers from his home and started battling the flames before fire fighters arrived.
“They were trapped in there,” Bacon said. “The windows were up. The doors were locked.”
Off-duty Army Captain Steve Voglezon of Southern Pines was on his way to the mall with his girlfriend when he noticed the catastrophic scene and ran to help rescue those victims from their cars. He used a fire extinguisher to break the windows of the Acura and rescue the Thompson’s.
“I picked up the other gentleman, took his to safety, while the officer was trying to free the other woman on the other side of the vehicle,” Capt. Voglezon said.
John Spurrell, who lives nearby, helped rescue Ricketts from his burning Chrysler before grabbing his cell phone to start recording the scene.
He said speeding is a constant problem there and he’s asked officials to reconsider the 50 miles per hour speed limit.
“These kinds of excessive speeds on these little country roads result in that kind of catastrophe. People need to slow down,” Spurrell said.
Spurrell credits Capt. Voglezon with saving lives, but the man others are calling a hero said he was just doing his job.
“We have a calling to do whatever we we’re called to do,” Capt. Voglezon said. “Today I was called to be there at that spot at that time.” Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.