Deputy rescues trapped teen son from truck after tree falls across Johnston County road


PRINCETON, N.C. (WNCN) – A Johnston County deputy who had just started his shift Saturday night rescued his son after a tree that fell on his pickup truck while driving, officials said.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office deputy, Lt. Richard Reliford, had just left his home in the Princeton area and radioed in three miles earlier that he was starting his shift.

Then, while driving along Bizzell Grove Church Road, the deputy noticed a crashed pickup truck in a field, said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

A tree had fallen during a storm and hit the truck, injuring and trapping 19-year-old Hunter Reliford.

“He noticed it was their truck and he rushes out across the field and was able to get his son out of the truck while EMS was on the way,” Bizzell said.

The injured Reliford was taken to WakeMed after suffering non-life-threatening wounds, Bizzell said.

“We’re just glad that he is doing well. We just ask that everyone keep him in their thoughts and especially in their prayers,” Bizzell said.

Most damage from the storms was in Johnston County.

A metal roof was blown off a barn around 4:45 p.m. about four miles west of Coats in Johnston County, according to the weather service. Officials said the damage was from straight-line winds.

Around 4:50 p.m. several trees were reported down near the intersection of N.C. 210 and N.C. 50 in Johnston County, the weather service reported.

Trees were also reported down in Johnston County at two other intersections west of Coats — near Old Mill Drive at Wiggins Road and near Pricket Lane and Powhatan Road.

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