Smithfield Police have released details on Tuesday’s crash between a car and tractor trailer on South Brightleaf Boulevard (US 301) at Wal-Pat Road.
Around 2:00pm, police said a 2005 Chrysler was traveling southbound on South Brightleaf when it struck the rear of a 2019 Kenworth tractor trailer waiting in the turn lane to make a left turn onto Wal-Pat Road.
The driver of the car, Thomas Clifford Turner of Willow Spring, was severely pinned in the wreckage. He had to be cut free by Smithfield Fire Department personnel before being rushed by Johnston County EMS paramedics to Wake Medical Center.
Police said Turner sustained serious injuries in the crash. The driver of the tractor trailer, Joseph Adam Dresser of Sanford, told police he had stopped in the turn lane and was waiting to turn left when he felt the semi lunge forward. He looked in his mirror and saw the car under the trailer.
Two witnesses told police they heard braking, believed to be from Turner’s car, prior to impact. According to an accident report Turner’s car left 42 feet of skid marks prior to impact. The posted speed limit is 45mph. Police estimated Turner was traveling at 45mph but had slowed to 35mph at the time of impact.
Officer J.T. Turney investigated the collision. According to the crash report, charges are pending.