A three-vehicle wreck happened just before 8 a.m. of today at the intersection of Raeford Road and Purdue Drive in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The accident claimed the life of Annie Wilson Thomas, 78. Thomas was a passenger in a white Buick LeSabre driven by Joe Ann Pelchat, 71. Pelchat was turning left from Raeford Road onto Purdue Drive when it tuned into the path of Cumberland County School Bus. The impact caused the Buick to collide head-on with a pickup waiting to turn right from Purdue Drive onto Raeford Road.
Medics performed CPR on Thomas for about ten minutes before an ambulance took her to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Fortunately, no one of the bus passengers, which included seven special need students, was hurt. The students were handed out plastic hats and teddy bears by the fire-fighters and the police respectively while they were escorted to a second bus that was called.
Purdue Drive traffic was detoured along Breezewood Drive as it blocked the inbound lanes of Raeford Road. Police directed drivers around it but it resulted in a fender bender involving a school bus at Marlborough Road. Pelchat was not mentioned to have sustained any major or minor injuries.
According to the national safety council, more than 41,000 people lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes each year and over 2.4 million more suffer disabling injuries, according to the National Safety Council. The quadruple threat of distractions, high speeds, impaired or careless driving cited as just a few reasons that may have caused this tragic multiple vehicle fatal traffic accident.
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