Volunteer firefighter, EMT hurt in wreck near Mocksville

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DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. -- Three people, including a volunteer firefighter and an EMT from Davie County, were taken to the hospital Monday evening after a wreck on Interstate 40.

The wreck happened in the eastbound lanes around 5:45 p.m. at mile marker 172 near Bermuda Run. Troopers said a tractor-trailer carrying frozen chicken rear-ended a truck belonging to the Center Volunteer Fire Department.

The tractor-trailer driver, Jahres Caldwell of Concord, was hurt, along with firefighter Rusty Benson and EMT Jeff Barney, troopers said. All suffered non life-threatening injuries and were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for observation.

The wreck occurred as the volunteers were responding to a three-car wreck in the same area of I-40. Benson, who was driving the fire department vehicle, began to slow down when the tractor-trailer rear-ended it, troopers said.

The impact forced the volunteers' vehicle to flip twice, while the tractor-trailer traveled another 100 yards before turning onto its side, troopers said.

Caldwell was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and not wearing a seat belt.

Other drivers, including a nurse, got out of their cars and tended to the injured until paramedics arrived.

Eastbound I-40 was closed for several hours as crews investigated and cleaned up the mess.