11/16/06 — Dudley man walks away with minor injuries in crash

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Dudley man walks away with minor injuries in crash

By Lee Williams
Published in News on November 16, 2006 1:45 PM

DUDLEY -- Officials say speed likely played a role in an accident that sent a Dudley man's car into a tree on Old Mount Olive Highway near Royall Drive Wednesday.

Vincent Morton, 44, of Marshall Drive, was behind the wheel of a late model black Mazda 626, about 2:45 p.m. when he allegedly lost control of his car, which flipped and crashed into a tree.

Morton's car struck the tree on the passenger's side while upside down and then slammed to the ground landing on the driver's side pinning Morton inside, witnesses said.

Veronica Barfield, who provides home healthcare services at a home located at the intersection, witnessed the accident and quickly rushed over to help.

"When he came out of the curve on Old Mount Olive Highway, I don't know what happened," Ms. Barfield said. "All I heard was tires screeching and a loud thump."

That's when her skills as a nurse kicked into high-gear.

"I ran over there to see if he was all right," Ms. Barfield said while a wrecker loaded up the mangled vehicle. "I was talking to him to keep him alert."

Based on her training, she knew not to move Morton until rescue crews arrived because she didn't want to further injure the patient.

Units from the N.C. Highway Patrol, Dudley and Mar Mac Volunteer Fire Departments arrived to help Morton. He was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

After surveying the damage, Trooper J.D. Edwards determined Morton's behavior contributed to the accident. Morton was cited for careless and reckless driving.

The fact that Morton survived the accident was nothing short of a miracle, Ms. Barfield said.

"I told him God was in that car," she said. "God was in that car."