A Chapel Hill man was said to be in serious condition Monday morning after a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 64 East on Friday.
Ricky Jackson Pitts, 43, was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh by helicopter after the 2010 Kia Forte he was driving ran off the right side of the highway and struck a tree about 11:45 a.m. The accident took place about a half mile east of the junction with U.S. 264, just east of Zebulon.
The patient status of serious means vital signs may be unstable and are not within normal limits, the patient is acutely ill and indicators are questionable.
Eastern Wake EMS and the Zebulon Fire department were the first to respond. Pitts was trapped in the vehicle and firefighters had to use hydraulic extrication equipment to free him, Zebulon fire Chief Chris Perry said.
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The cause of the accident remained unclear as of Friday afternoon. Sgt. Mike Baker of the N.C. State Highway Patrol said investigators were waiting to speak to Pitts and that their investigation was still in its preliminary stages.
Troopers at the scene reported hearing from emergency responders that Pitts has a history of seizures.
“Basically he was traveling east on U.S. 64 near Old Bunn Road and ran off the road to the right and struck a tree,” Baker said. “They’re just trying to figure out now if (Pitts) fell asleep or it was a medical factor. There are no impairments as of this point, they’re just trying to determine what contributed to him running off the road to the right.”
There were no noted witnesses of the accident, Baker said.
Officials diverted traffic from taking the exit onto U.S. 64 for about an hour. One lane was opened by about 12:30 p.m., as officials continued to study and clear the wreckage.
Other agencies responding at the scene were the Hopkins Fire Department, Zebulon Police and Wake County Sheriff’s deputies.