01/22/06 — Man critical after head-on crash

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Man critical after head-on crash

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 22, 2006 2:07 AM

A Wayne County man remains in Pitt Memorial Hospital after the pickup truck he was driving drifted left of center and hit an Eagle Transport gas truck head-on Friday morning.

Clift McCall, 46, of Dobbs Place in Goldsboro, was traveling northbound on Highway 111 at about 11 a.m. when his pickup traveled left of center and hit the gas truck, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Conley said.

The gas truck, which was driven by Larry Phillips, 51, of Jaycross Road, Wilson, traveled about 100 yards down the highway and ended up in a field. The truck, although totaled, did not catch fire or explode.

"(The impact) actually knocked the wheels off the truck," Conley said.

Phillips had minor injruies, but was not transported.

"I told the truck driver that the impact was like a car hitting a brick wall at about 100 miles an hour," Conley said.

Conley said McCall's injuries were extensive. He was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital, where he is in intensive care listed in critical condition, a hospital spokesperson said Saturday.

Traffic was backed up about a mile in each direction while rescue workers from El-Roy and Indian Springs volunteer fire departments worked to free McCall from the wreckage, which took about a half hour.

Conley said charges are pending in the case as he waits for news regarding McCall's condition.

"He will be at fault because of the left of center," Conley said.

He said investigators are unsure about the exact cause of the accident.

"It looks like either he fell asleep, or he reached down to pick something up," Conley said. "He just slowly drifted over and hit the tractor trailer head on."