‘Like bumper cars:’ Witness reported reckless driving before fatal daycare van collision
A man who witnessed the crash that killed the driver of a Clayton daycare van is shedding light on the terrifying moments before the head-on collision.
A Bizzy Bee Plumbing truck driven by Seth Charles Tracy, 38, collided with the daycare van from Kids County of Clayton on Barber Mill Road Tuesday afternoon.
The driver of the van, 39-year-old Martha Darlene Peterson, was killed and several children were injured.
Pete Rose saw the danger before the collision and called 911.
“I’m following a plumber truck all over the road,” he told a dispatcher.
Rose said he witnessed Tracy swerving on Barber Mill Road before the crash.
“He was off on the right. He would totally cross the left line and jerk back, kind of like bumper cars. He would jerk back and miss a car,” Rose said.
Rose was still on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when the crash he was hoping to prevent happened.
“He just about hit a school bus right there. Oh no, he’s about to nail one. We’ve got a wreck, head-on,” he said in the 911 call released Tuesday. “The driver of the van, what I saw, she went to the right as much as she could and he just nailed her. He just flat hit her.”
As Rose approached the wreckage, he knew it was bad.
“I was finalizing location for the emergency crews and, as we approached the van, we heard the children in the van,” he said.
Rose said other drivers stopped to help get the children out of the van.
“I just feel for the parents that had to get a call on their children and I can’t express for the family, but that driver did all that she could possibly do. She had no way out of that situation,” he said.
Tracy was taken into custody and charged with felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired. He made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, where he repeatedly asked to be released.
During the hearing, Tracy said he was in a methadone treatment program and he takes medication every day.
Tracy remains at the Johnston County Jail under $1 million bond.