At least 1 dead after SUV flips in Durham County

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) -- Authorities are investigating a deadly crash in Durham County on Friday evening.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol received a call around 6:30 p.m. along the 3800 block of Valleydale Drive near Wake Forest Highway/N.C. 98, officials said.

At least one person died in the crash, which involved a Ford Explorer that was pulling a trailer.

The crash happened as the Ford Explorer was going around a curve on Valleydale Drive and the SUV hit a culvert, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.

The SUV then went airborne, hit a tree and flipped over. A fire then started and the SUV was engulfed in flames, officials said.

The trailer was carrying a lawn mower and leaf blower, troopers said.

Sheila Smith's home is about 50 yard from the tree the SUV crashed into. She says she ran to her window after hearing a loud boom.

"It looked like an inferno and I was scared to death. I told my husband I said 'lets go in the bathroom and get in the shower' because it looked like it was going to explode," Smith said.

Neighbors say the victim has family who lives in the neighborhood where the crash happened.

Troopers said it's too early to determine if speed or alcohol were a factor, but they said the weight of the trailer may have played a role.


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