A child lost his life in a traffic accident Tuesday despite the heroic efforts of people who stopped to aid the victims.
The accident involved an 18-wheeler and a Honda Pilot near Southern Pines. It occurred around 5:40 p.m. on U.S. 1 North at the intersection with N. May Street.
The 18-wheeler struck the Honda Pilot on the passenger side, and both vehicles traveled down the side of the roadway before coming to rest just off the road. Almost as soon as the vehicle stopped moving, a number of people stopped their vehicles and ran to help.
Reportedly, several used crowbars to pry the driver’s door open and remove the injured driver, who is believed to be the child’s mother, from the wreckage. They also continued their efforts to pry back the wreckage to reach the small child when emergency crews arrived on the scene.
The driver was transported by EMS to the Southern Pines ballfield where she was airlifted in serious condition. Caleb Hawkins, age 5, of Raeford, was unresponsive and in grave condition when removed from the wreckage. He succumbed to his injuries a short time later at FirstHealth Moore Regional.
The driver of the truck was also transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional with non-life-threatening injuries.
Both lanes of U.S. 1 northbound were shut down for several hours while emergency crews worked and then for the Highway Patrol to complete their investigation of the accident.
Responding to the scene were Southern Pines Fire & Rescue, Cypress Point Fire & Rescue, Moore County EMS, and the NC Highway Patrol.
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Publisher B.J. Goodridge.