LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – A driver and one-year-old infant passenger are dead following a crash in Lumberton Thursday afternoon, according to the NC Highway Patrol.
Stephanie Chavis with Robeson County Emergency Management says one of the vehicles involved was carrying six or seven drums containing chemicals including methanol and acetone. An officer on scene told News13 the drums containing the chemicals were drained into barrels.
Otis Enoch Jr., 63, of Whitsett was driving the tractor trailer east on Highway 72 when he ran off the road to the right and hit a road sign before he overcorrected when attempting to get back in the roadway.
Sgt. Mike Baker with the NC Highway Patrol says the collision hapened on NC 72 near Cold Storage Road around 1:20 p.m. when a tractor trailer struck a car and then caught fire as a result of the collision.
The Highway Patrol said Wendell McRae, 57, of Lumberton was driving the 2004 Mitsubishi passenger car westbound on Highway 72 when Enoch’s tractor trailer reentered the roadway and began to overturn. McRae tried to avoid the tractor trailer and drove the Mitsubishi off the road to the right.
Enoch and a one-year-old Windshae McRae are confirmed to have died.
McRae and a 29-year-old passenger were airlifted to McLeod Hospital in Florence where they are in stable condition.
Emercency crews are evacuating the area a quarter of a mile surrounding the crash site, according to emergency management. Evacuees who need shelter due to the crash on Hwy 72 can go to the Swording Eagle Community Building on Norment Road in Lumberton off of Pine Log Road, officials say.
Several local fire departments, EMS, and NC Highway Patrol are on the scene.
NC 72 is closed, with a detour in place. Officials say the investigation will last several more hours.
The situation was resolved at 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.