One teenager was airlifted to an area hospital, and several teens were injured on New Year’s Eve after a vehicle accident. The accident occurred in Pinehurst around 2:45 p.m. on Midland Road at Midland Drive, about a mile from the traffic circle.
According to the official accident report from Pinehurst Police Department, Lee Vampola, of Pinehurst, rear-ended a Honda sedan with four teenagers in it while they were traveling toward the traffic circle. The Honda then crashed into two trees while Vampola fled the scene.
The suspect has been charged with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, and felony hit and run. The police report estimates Vampola was traveling 80 mph in a 35 mph zone when he hit the Honda. The report also states a witness said Vampola was racing another car at the time of the crash.
Initially, two helicopters were requested, but one was later canceled. Firefighters set up a landing zone at the Pinehurst Arboretum where a UNC helicopter landed to transport the victim. The teen’s condition is unknown at this time. The other three victims were transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
Midland Road was shut down for an extended time while emergency crews worked to clear the scene.
Responding to the scene were Pinehurst Fire and Rescue, Moore County EMS, and Pinehurst Police Department.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
~Article and feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Curtis Self.