Pregnant Marion woman charged, injured in Burke wreck

A local towing company arrived on scene to take away this truck after it flipped Monday on I-40. The driver was pregnant and seen by witnesses driving recklessly just prior to the crash

RYAN WILUSZ/NEWS HERALD

A pregnant woman was taken to the hospital and charged after she flipped a truck Monday evening on Interstate 40.

Trooper J. Baker with the N.C. State Highway Patrol said law enforcement received multiple reports of Sara Harris, 24, of Marion, driving recklessly on I-40 heading east.

Harris is diabetic and had an extremely low blood sugar when the wreck happened around 3:30 p.m., Trooper J. Byland said. The low blood sugar caused the reckless driving, which culminated when Harris drove between two vehicles near the Coldwater Bridge, Baker said.

Byland said she then ran off the left side of the road, overcorrected and crashed into the right guardrail.

Harris then rode against the guardrail for 396 feet before hitting an embankment and flipping the Chevrolet Silverado. The truck came to a rest on its top facing north, Baker said.

EMS responded to rescue Harris, who was trapped inside the truck. Harris was responsive, and her first concern was her unborn child, Byland said.

“She really didn’t remember anything to be honest with you,” Byland said. “She said she was driving, and she didn’t really remember she was in a wreck.”

Harris was taken to a Catawba County hospital for her injuries. Byland said her face was cut up, but he did not know whether she had internal injuries.

Byland charged Harris with failure to wear a seatbelt and failure to maintain a lane. He did not charge her with careless and reckless driving because the wreck was caused by her low blood sugar, which may also have caused her to black out.

“I’m glad she’s OK,” Byland said. “People who are diabetic need to pay attention to (their blood sugar) because it can be dangerous when you get behind the wheel and you’re diabetic and that stuff is not maintained like it should be.”

Byland said reckless driving is common when people have extremely low blood sugar and that they may seem impaired to other drivers.

Harris was travelling by herself, and no other injuries were reported. Burke County REACT also responded to the scene to direct traffic.

“It‘s really amazing that nobody else was involved,” Byland said. “That’s just a good job on the other drivers’ part of being alert and aware.”

One eastbound lane of I-40 was shut down until the wreck was cleared, causing congestion to Exit 110.

Congestion also occurred in the westbound lane after a secondary collision happened when a transfer truck rear-ended a vehicle, Byland said. No one was injured in the collision.

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