09/02/09 — Passer-by rescues driver in accident

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Passer-by rescues driver in accident

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on September 2, 2009 1:46 PM


Tristan Grantham spotted a car driven by Jessica Lee, which had crashed off the road.

In a thicket at the bottom of a 50-foot ravine, Jessica Lee sat trapped in her vehicle, helpless and hidden.

A Goldsboro area man saw the flash of a Mazda emblem and stopped his vehicle Tuesday morning, alerting authorities to the crash.

Tristan Grantham of Lillian Street had just driven his daughter, Brianna, to Norwayne Middle School and was headed to McDonald's when he saw the car off Claridge Nursery Road.

"It was completely covered by grass and trees," Gran-tham said. "They were small saplings. I had to break them to get to the driver's door."

Grantham took pictures with his cell phone camera, showing Miss Lee's vehicle hidden deep in bramble.

As he approached the vehicle, he couldn't tell if there was anyone inside, but could still hear the radio playing, Grantham said.

Once he got close enough, he saw Miss Lee, 23, who is pregnant, with her head "laying on the driver's side window," Grantham said.

Grantham said he helped the young woman regain consciousness.

"Once she come to, she was very confused, but she was alert. She asked me what happened, and I told her I didn't know. I told her that I had just got lucky and saw the car," Grantham said.

He had phoned authorities, and a Highway Patrol trooper arrived on the scene.

"Her stomach was hurting the whole time. I don't know if the seat belt had hurt her stomach or what," Grantham said.

Miss Lee's mother, Rona Lee, said Grantham "is a hero in my book."

Mrs. Lee said her daughter had been treated and released from Wayne Memorial Hospital.

"She's just bumped and bruised up from the accident," Mrs. Lee said.

However, Mrs. Lee wonders what would have happened if Grantham had not seen the car.

"There's no telling how long she would have been there until he found her," said Mrs. Lee, who works at B&G Grill on John Street in Goldsboro.