Mike Wilbur


In yet another reminder about us all operating on roadways, Columbus County (NC) Firefighters rushed to rescue a family stranded on a highway before a tractor-trailer smashed into their vehicles causing an explosion. This happened Monday evening.

In a bizarre act later that night, the passenger of a car who drove through the crash scene barricade during clean-up waved a gun and ran into a Firefighter.

The incident started at about 2200 hours Monday night when Acme-Delco-Riegelwood Fire-Rescue received a call about a car broken down on the side of Highway 74/76. Chief Steve Camlin and Firefighters Autumn Witchen, Jesse Witchen, and Myles Swain responded to help the stranded people.

When the 4 Firefighters arrived, they found a family disabled when the tire fell off their car.
The Firefighters turned on their emergency lights before attempting to remove the car from the highway lane. “We looked back and saw a tractor-trailer coming, and it did not look like it was slowing down,” said FF Swain.

The tractor-trailer smashed into one of the Firefighter’s vehicles, and then plowed into the family’s car, which caused an explosion.

That broken-down vehicle then burst into flames, and the trailer jackknifed and went across the median into oncoming traffic on the other side.
The truck missed FF Swain by 6 inches to a foot and brushed one of the other firefighters.
Firefighters shut down both lanes of Highway 74/76 to begin cleaning up, and it remained closed for several hours.

In a strange incident during the clean-up process, a motorist driving on the westbound lane broke through the barricade and got into an altercation with the firefighters.
The Firefighters asked them to stop and turn around, the driver became very irate. A woman in the car pulled a gun on the Firefighters. While the woman did not fire the gun, the driver did injure a Firefighter in an apparent act of road rage.

As the lunatic  (the driver) took off across the median, he actually hit and drug one of their Firefighters down the road, and took off down Highway 11. The firefighter suffered road rash and minor injuries, but is doing OK.


The driver got away, and a search Monday night was unsuccessful. N.C. State Highway Patrol is investigating both of the incidents.




More insanity on the roadways. Eyes WIDE Open.

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