DOBSON — A driver’s alleged running of a red light caused a two-car collision Monday at Dobson which sent eight people to area hospitals, officials say.
The wreck happened shortly before 8:45 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. 601 and Rockford Road in the vicinity of Surry Community College. It involved a large 2007 van owned by PQA Healthcare Inc., capable of holding about 15 passengers, and a 2013 Kia Sorento SUV.
Jessica Simpson, 28, of Dobson, was operating the van and attempting to turn left onto U.S. 601 toward Mount Airy, according to Trooper Terry Bullington of the N.C. Highway Patrol, who investigated the crash.
“They had the green light,” the trooper said of the van driven by Simpson, which contained six people in all, including PQA clients. The green light was confirmed by another, independent motorist who witnessed the incident, Bullington added.
“The person going south did not observe the light,” the trooper said of Misty Hearn, 40, also of Dobson, who was driving the Kia Sorento in that direction along U.S. 601. In addition to Hearn, that vehicle contained three youths, two who are 15 years old and the third age 4, whom the trooper said were two of Hearn’s children and one of their friends.
He said the two vehicles came to rest in the middle of the roadway at the intersection after the collision.
All four people in the SUV were transported to the hospital, along with four occupants of the van.
They were taken to both Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem by the Surry County EMS.
“There was nothing life-threatening,” the trooper said of the collective extent of their injuries, which were generally minor although broken bones did result.
The van and SUV did not fare as well.
“They’re both a total loss,” Bullington said. “It was a 55 mph impact.”
Hearn, the operator of the Kia Sorento, was ticketed for failing to stop for a red light.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.