4 injured after wrong-way driver hits car head-on on Highway 52 in Winston-Salem


Courtesy: Winston-Salem Police Department

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Police say two people have life-threatening injuries, and two more were seriously injured, as the result of a head-on collision on Highway 52 in Winston-Salem late Thursday night.

At about 10:40 p.m., police received reports of a vehicle traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 52.

Police add that an officer, with an unrelated arrestee in his vehicle, was nearly struck by the vehicle while traveling southbound on the highway.

The vehicle, a 2004 Nissan driven by 28-year-old Martinez Lemus, then hit a 2012 Toyota which had three people inside.

The driver of the Toyota, 56-year-old David Leonard Stafford, and a passenger, 80-year-old Jean Lawrence High, sustained life-threatening injuries.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, police say High remained in critical condition. The other passenger, identified as 56-year-old Jeri High Stafford, was seriously injured. They were all taken to local hospitals.

In addition, Martinez Lemus was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with serious injuries, the release states. Police say he was impaired when the crash happened.

Martinez Lemus has been charged with three counts of felony serious injury by vehicle, one count of driving while impaired, one count of no operator’s license, one count of careless and reckless driving and one count of traveling the wrong way on a highway.

Martinez has been released from the hospital and has been jailed under a $75,000 bond, according to police.

Police say they have not determined how fast Lemus was going at the time, but scanner traffic reveals he was reported as traveling at a “high rate of speed.”

Police are trying to determine if Lemus was in the country legally. They say, in addition to not having an American driver’s license on him, he also does not have a passport. They added that he did have a Salvadorian ID.

Anyone with information about the wreck is asked to contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7832.

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