Victims identified after crash on I-74 in Montgomery County kills 1, sends 3 to hospital


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.C. — Troopers have identified the man killed in a crash involving two tractor-trailers and two passenger cars on Interstate 74 in Montgomery County.

The incident began around 6 a.m. Tuesday, about two miles southeast of exit 49 and N.C. 27, near Biscoe.

Troopers say one person died and three people were taken to a hospital.

Lee Eames Beane, 44, of Star, was killed. Troopers say he was in a passenger car.

“Immediately in front of me, I saw an explosion — a big, huge ball of fire.”

Marshall Whitt

Little Bobby Peterson, 45, of Florence, South Carolina; Delbert Sheril Ball, 73, of Thomasville; and Bobby Thomas Welch, of Asheboro, were taken to a hospital.

Marshall Whitt said he saw the whole thing.

“It was about 5:40,” he said. “I was coming down Interstate 74 and, immediately in front of me, I saw an explosion — a big, huge ball of fire.”

He said he got on his radio and told other truck drivers to bring their fire extinguishers.

“At that time, a driver was trying to climb out of the truck and I kind of helped him away, and this gentleman helped me,” Whitt said. “At that point, we got the driver of a car and brought him back to safety.”

Ritchie Carter said he also saw the fire.

“I was a truck or so behind him, and I saw a big fire ball, and I jumped into the left lane and didn’t know if I could get around him or not,” he said. “Everybody was coming to a stop, so I jumped back into the right lane and came to a stop.”

When he heard Whitt’s call, Carter got his fire extinguisher and went to help.

“We did try to help as best we could,” Carter said.

The southbound lanes were blocked but have since reopened.

Drivers are asked to follow the directions of local law enforcement personnel at the scene.

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