Three Panther Creek High School students were injured after a collision Tuesday morning between their sport utility vehicle and a dump truck on N.C. 55 at McCrimmon Parkway, barely half a mile from the school.
All three students were taken to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, officials said.
Cary officials identified the students as Ryan Yost, 16, and Laura Yost, 15, both of Trolley Car Way in Morrisville, and Spencer Saunders, 16, of Scoggins Way in Morrisville. Laura Yost remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
All three play on the school’s soccer teams, according to athletic rosters, and apparently were headed to school.
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The crash took place about 7:15 a.m.
Police at the scene said Saunders was driving a Chevrolet Blazer northbound on N.C. 55 when he tried to make a left turn onto McCrimmon Parkway. A three-axle dump truck carrying gravel in the opposite direction struck the passenger side of the Blazer, police said.
The truck driver was identified as Jerry Middleton, 64, of Creedmoor. He was not cited.
The truck “did skid a little bit, but I don’t think he had much of an opportunity to brake,” said Lt. Steve Wilkins of the Cary Police Department.
The state Highway Patrol weighed and inspected the truck and found no violations, Wilkins said.
Cary police shut down the southbound lanes of N.C. 55 while crash investigators and City-County Bureau of Identification agents worked at the scene. Police were attempting to reconstruct how the crash happened, in part by using laser-based tools.
Police are working to complete a report on the crash. Whatever the cause turns out to be, Wilkins said, the crash should be a reminder to teens to be careful on the road.
“When you have young people – they’re inexperienced and they’re easily distracted,” he said. “You get heavy traffic, and you’re not paying attention – it can happen really quickly.”
The Department of Transportation recorded 29 crashes at the intersection between January 2011 and the end of this July, or about 267 crashes per 100 million cars; none of those crashes were fatal, according to the department. More than half involved rear-end collisions, and seven involved left turns.