DOT not lowering speed on Chatham road where fiery crash happened

Soldier who saved people from fiery crash: 'I'm not Captain America' (Image 1)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it is unlikely it will change the speed limit on a stretch of a Chatham County road where a fiery car crash happened Sunday and three people were injured.

The fiery crash was captured on cellphone video Sunday and shared with WNCN.

Deputy David Green of Chatham County was one of those who rushed to help the people in the accident.

“We couldn’t let these people be alone,” Green said. “We had to get them out of the vehicle.. That’s what I felt — by any means necessary get them out of the vehicle.”

Despite an explosion and intense heat, Green teamed with passersby and off-duty Army Captain Steve Voglezon of Southern Pinesto help free victims.

Green said that with the heat and smoke, “it makes you start thinking this might not end well.”

At one point, a firefighter told WNCN, Green climbed into the car where Kathleen Thompson was trapped and injured to promise the 63-year-old Cary woman he wouldn’t abandon her.

“I had a moment of thinking of my two little boys,” Green said. “I have two small children and I was thinking I want to make sure I get through this safely and that the people around the scene get out safely.”

As of Monday, Thompson was in critical condition at UNC Hospitals and her husband, 67-year-old William, was in fair condition.

The Highway Patrol charged Mark Ricketts, 59, of Cary, with traveling left of center after his silver Chrysler SUV collided head-on with the Thompson’s red Acura sedan.

Residents along the road complain the speed limit is too high, but the DOT said it can’t justify lowering that limit.

In 2010, the DOT lowered the limit from 55 mph to 50. Residents want the speed dropped to 45. But the department told WNCN Tuesday that its data showed that there was no justification to drop the speed limit to 45 mph, saying dropping the speed limit would not , change the motorists’ behavior.

The DOT did say it will collect more data and use information from the accident report to look into the area again.


Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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