Good Samaritan helps rescue people from burning cars during fatal I-40 crash

August 30, 2018

Sky 5 flies over fiery wreck in Johnston County

A Good Samaritan who helped save people from their burning cars on Interstate 40 in Johnston County Wednesday afternoon following a multi-vehicle crash said he is thankful he was there to help.

Jeff Futch was on the way to Fayetteville when he witnessed the crash.

“I happened to look in my side-view mirror, and I saw this truck flying, and I remember thinking, ‘This truck ain’t gonna stop,’” he said.

The crash occurred just after noon in the eastbound lanes near mile marker 319 and involved a flatbed truck and two passenger cars. Emergency crews had to close the westbound lanes to access the scene.

He said the flatbed truck slammed full speed into 2008 Volkswagen sedan, driven by Michael Anthony Peters, 64, of Youngsville. Peters did not survive the crash.

“When the 18-wheeler hit it, it literally lifted the car up it was like a toy in the air and was engulfed in flames the whole time,” Futch said. “The sound that it made was like a stick of dynamite, like the loudest craziest sound I ever heard.”

Futch said that, while dozens of people stood in the median videotaping the scene, he and several other Good Samaritans tried to save as many people as he could.

Futch remembers four people getting out of their wrecked vehicles with injuries.

“Both the vehicles were engulfed in flames... the woman we got out her car was engulfed in flames by the time the fire trucks got there,” he said.

Futch, who was running early, said he was thankful he was there to help.

“And I’m thankful I’m here today,” he said.

The truck driver, William Van Oneal, 61, was charged with three counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

H. McRoy Skipper Jr., and his wife, Jo Skipper, also died during the fiery wreck, according to a Facebook post by Skipper’s company. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has not confirmed this information.

Update hourly