A Wilmington motor vehicle collision between a sport utility vehicle and an 18-wheeler truck on Wednesday, June 20, resulted in no serious injuries to either driver.
The 18-wheeler was carrying a cement bridge railing. At the time of the incident, it had been making a slow left turn from Burnett Boulevard onto Shipyard Boulevard. All other traffic had stopped to accommodate the turn, but the SUV plowed through the intersection and under the truck. The Ford Explorer ended up wedged under the concrete beam loaded on the truck, flattening the upper portion of the vehicle.
According to New Hanover County Dispatch, the collision was reported to emergency responders around 2:30 p.m. Dispatchers told reporters that an employee at the State Port saw the Wilmington traffic accident on a surveillance camera.
The driver of the SUV, Jonathan Hodges, 25, was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for a checkup, even though his injuries were limited to minor scratches.
The driver of the truck—Chris Rivenbark, age 33—suffered no injuries. He said that he is employed by Parks Trucking and had been driving toward the Leland bypass.
Neither vehicle had any occupants other than the drivers.
According to Officer Mark Anderson, an investigator with the Wilmington Police Department’s traffic unit, the North Carolina Highway Patrol issued citations to Rivenbark for an expired inspection and a permit violation. Anderson told reporters that the Highway Patrol also assisted with the investigation into the incident.
Hodges faces more serious legal penalties. According to Officer Anderson, Hodges claims that he looked down momentarily before the crash and could not stop his vehicle in time. Based on the law enforcement investigation, Hodges has been charged with careless and reckless driving. In addition, Anderson says, Hodges is facing charges of possessing drug paraphernalia because a search of his SUV revealed a hypodermic needle and small bags commonly used to store drugs. However, police do not believe Hodges was driving impaired at the time of the collision.
At Speaks Law Firm, our attorneys and staff are pleased to hear that there were no serious injuries from this Wilmington traffic accident. We want to take this opportunity to remind our community that truck collisions with cars and SUVs are usually much more dangerous to the occupants of the smaller vehicles. Please exercise caution when approaching an intersection where a large commercial truck is turning.