A truck-van collision this past Friday, January 3, 2014 resulted in five United States Army soldiers based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina being hospitalized in serious condition.
According to Army officials, a group of ten soldiers were on their way to a military funeral near Charlotte, North Carolina to serve as members of an honor guard for a deceased World War II veteran. One of the soldiers was driving a government-owned 15-passenger Chevrolet van on NC 144. As the driver attempted to make a left turn on US 15-501, he failed to yield to oncoming traffic and the van was struck at a speed of approximately 55 miles per hour by a log truck.
The collision caused the van to flip over and crushed its front side, trapping the soldiers in their mangled vehicle for over 45 minutes as emergency responders used extraction equipment to free the soldiers. Two of the soldiers deemed to be in the most serious condition were transported by medical helicopter to the emergency room at UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Three other soldiers were hospitalized at Scotland Memorial Hospital in serious but stable condition. The remaining soldiers were treated at Scotland Memorial and released.
The police are investigating the unfortunate car accident, but it appears that the service member driving the van violated the rules of the road by failing to yield to oncoming traffic. The van driver was cited for a traffic infraction, while the truck driver was not cited or arrested. The auto crash remains under state police investigation.
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