WADE, N.C. (WNCN) — The N.C. State Highway Patrol has identified the driver of the tractor-trailer involved in a deadly Sunday collision that left five people dead.
Tyrik Bannerman, 27, of Rose Hill in Duplin County, was driving the truck, troopers said Monday morning. He suffered minor injuries.
The crash happened on U.S. 13 at Hayfield Road near Eastover in Cumberland County.
The tractor-trailer collided with an SUV. A trooper at the scene initially said four people in the SUV died and a fifth passenger was ejected. Paramedics airlifted the fifth person, a teenager, to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill with third-degree burns where they later died.
Witnesses told CBS 17 they saw Bannerman walk away from the wreckage. The trooper at the scene said Bannerman was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
As for what led up to the crash, the trooper said witnesses told them the SUV was driving down Hayfield Road and didn’t stop at the stop sign, the tractor-trailer was driving east along N.C. 13 when the two collided.
A man who lives nearby said the crash sounded like a bomb going off. Both vehicles landed in the ditch and caught on fire.
The trooper said the crash happened shortly before 3 pm. A portion of the highway remained closed for much of the late afternoon into the evening.
Crews worked to pull the trailer out of the ditch more than four hours after the crash.
The highway patrol has not released the names or ages of the victims. A trooper at the scene said two of them were male and two of them were female.
The investigation is ongoing and is being assisted by the State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit.