COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Quick thinking from a state trooper may have saved the life of a driver who was pinned in his car.
According to investigators, Lena Roberts, 76, took the wrong exit on Highway 74/76 near Hallsboro Monday morning and started driving against traffic. She collided head-on with 20-year-old Jose Cosme, of Goldsboro. Both drivers were pinned in their vehicles below the waist, according to Highway Patrol.
Troopers K.K. Conner and S.S. Floyd witnessed the accident and immediately requested EMS units along with Air Link to the location. Both troopers assisted with patient care until EMS arrived.
According to Highway Patrol, the vehicle in which Trooper Conner was assisting unexpectedly erupted into flames. He used a by-stander to stay with the victim while he went to get the fire extinguisher from his patrol vehicle.
Conner was able to put out the flames and continue to assist with first aid, but flames erupted again. The trooper extinguished the fire again and monitored the engine until fire units arrived.
Highway Patrol says it was the "quick action of Trooper Conner to extinguish the vehicle fire that truly saved the pinned in driver's life."
All people involved in the crash were taken to the hospital for treatment. According to hospital officials, Roberts is in good condition and Cosme is in fair condition as of Wednesday afternoon.