Elizabeth Langdon was driving along Interstate 40 heading west to meet a friend for lunch, when she saw a white car coming across the median heading straight in her direction.
“There was no way I could miss him and it was very quick,” Langdon, 66, said. “By the time I saw him and the thought went into my mind he’s going to hit me, I was on top of him.”
“And I think that’s when my car hit another car. I didn’t have time to step on brakes or do anything.”
Judith Barefoot said she saw the car too. She and her husband were heading to his doctor’s appointment when she saw the white Pontiac Trans Am swerve into the cable median barrier.
“It was like his car just exploded,” Barefoot said. “It was horrific. When the car hit the cables it was like it flew into 100 pieces.”
The car then crossed into the westbound lanes of I-40 before colliding with a Chevrolet Impala driven by Langdon.
After impact, Langdon’s Impala then swerved to the right, striking a Kia Sorrento driven by Barefoot, 70. Both the Impala and the Sorrento traveled onto the right shoulder of westbound I-40, where they came to a stop.
Langdon stayed in the hospital for nearly a week after having surgery on a compression vertebrae fracture and two broken bones in her ankle. Barefoot escaped with a few fractures and bumps and bruises. She said her husband however, who has cancer, felt the worst of it.
“It has affected him emotionally and physically because it made his pain a whole lot worse,” she said.
But both drivers said they feel blessed to still be alive.
“I am truly blessed in seeing pictures of my car that my son took,” Langdon said. “I could see where I landed at the foot of the woods and didn’t hit a tree. God was riding with me that day.”
The driver of the Pontiac Trans Am was Paul Rosequist. After being transported to the hospital he later died.
According to the collision report, a vehicle heading east in the middle lane, tried to switch lanes to the left, cutting Rosequist off. Rosequist tried to avoid the accident by turning left. His car went through the cable median barrier at a diagonal angle and into oncoming traffic on the other side of the interstate.
Elbert Mote, of Shelby, said he was driving about 20 car lengths behind the cars when it happened. He said he saw the car cut Rosequist off.
“The white car jerked right then went left,” Mote said. “I told the Highway Patrol, I believe that the vehicle was a burgundy GMC Envoy.”
Mote said it didn’t look on purpose, but he did not want to speculate.
Mote pulled over to help out. He said when he got out, he hopped over the cable median barrier and went over to Rosequist’s car. The door was jammed shut and Rosequist was unconscious but breathing.
“But his pulse was weak,” Mote said. “So we decided not move him out the vehicle.”
“It was kind of dramatic, I ain’t going to lie.”
Police are still searching for the vehicle they say caused the wreck.