MORGANTON -- An Old Fort woman went on a ride of a lifetime after being dragged down the highway by a transfer truck in Burke Wednesday afternoon.
Brienna Danielle Wright, 24, of 196 Vernon Bradley Road in Old Fort, was charged with unsafe movement after trying to merge into the left lane from the Exit 105 on ramp and hitting the side of a transfer truck near Exit 104 westbound at about 5:10 p.m., Trooper G. N. Gentieu with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.
Wright's car was dragged 988 feet down the interstate by the transfer truck before it detached from the truck and came to a rest on the right shoulder, he said.
Both drivers were checked out by Burke County EMS, but refused transport to the hospital, Gentieu said.
Mike Strictland was driving on I-40 when the wreck occurred.
“Her car went in between my truck and just right over in front of me,” Strictland said. “That was it … I started saying my prayers.”
This is the second time Strictland has witnessed a wreck like this on the same stretch of I-40, he said.
“I just cringed and prayed to the good Lord that I’m all right and that everyone else is all right,” he said.
Strictland had to drive over some debris from the collision, but his truck was not damaged, he said.
At first, the driver of the transfer truck, who wished to remain anonymous, didn’t realize a car had hit him.
“I thought I blew my steering,” he said. “I’ve always been told not to hit my brakes, that’s the worst thing I could do.”
He didn’t realize that the car had hit him and was stuck under his truck until after the dust settled and he had pulled off the interstate, he said. He pleaded with drivers to be more careful.
“Please look and pay attention,” he said.
Gentieu also reminded drivers that when they see emergency vehicles pulled over with their lights and sirens on, they should slow down and move over.
“When people see lights, before it was common courtesy to move over and slow down,” Gentieu said. “Now it’s a law … Just give us room to work, we don’t want to get run over. We want to go home, too.”
Burke REACT and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded along with NCSHP and Burke EMS.