Walmart wreck victim still critical

Charges pending; info urged

By Chris Berendt -


A Clinton woman hit by a truck in the Walmart parking lot Sunday was still in critical condition at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill Wednesday as police continue to investigate the collision that severely injured her.

Wren Lane, 58, of Chelly Street, Warsaw, was walking across the pedestrian walkway near the Garden Center with her husband when a truck being driven by Austin Burgess, 17, of Reedsford Road, Clinton, struck Lane head-on. According to Police Capt. Donald Edwards, Lane was hit with the driver’s side of the truck and pinned underneath the vehicle.

Officers and the department’s accident reconstruction team are still working to piece together the details of the crash and have encouraged anyone who may have witnessed the wreck to come forward with information. The collision occurred at 11:14 a.m. Sunday.

No charges have yet been filed in the collision. Edwards said the investigation could be completed by the first of next week. It is believed that driver inattention was the primary factor in the wreck, Edwards said, but charges are still pending.

“Initially, it looks like inattention,” the captain said.

According to preliminary reports, the truck Burgess was driving was coming from the Overland Road side near the Garden Center but not actually from Overland Road itself. Edwards said the truck was traveling on the far side of the parking lot, coming from the rear of the lot to the front, before turning back toward Walmart and Sampson Crossing.

At the same time, Lane and her husband were making their way across the marked pedestrian walkway with shopping cart in tow as the truck turned.

“They were walking across the crosswalk when she was struck,” Edwards said. “Her husband was walking with her and was in front of the shopping cart pulling it and she was behind it, pushing it. She was hit by the driver’s side and ended up under the vehicle.”

Sampson EMS responded along with Clinton Police officers. The area was blocked off so Lane could receive initial treatment by emergency personnel and police could start their investigation. Lane was transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center and then taken to Chapel Hill. She was in critical condition at that time and remained critical Wednesday morning.

“When our officers tried to identify witnesses at the scene, we didn’t have any witnesses at that particular time,” Edwards said. While no statements have been received from any outside witnesses who saw the wreck, Edwards said several citizens came to Lane’s aid as EMS was en route. He said Walmart staff was also “outstanding” in their response to the incident.

The Clinton Police Department has a four-person accident reconstruction team that is still investigating the collision. Any additional information would be useful and is urged from residents who may have witnessed the incident, he said.

Anyone who has information on the collision is encouraged to call 910-592-3105. Information can be reported anonymously by calling 910-590-3009 or texting keyword tipcpd and the information to TIP411 (847411) or by sending information through the “tipcpd” app for Apple and Android devices.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Charges pending; info urged

By Chris Berendt


Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus