A Sampson County teenager is being treated for severe injuries at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill following a Saturday night wreck, in which the vehicle she was riding in plummeted down a washed-out Giddensville Road in the Faison area.
Hope Karina Rogers, 18, suffered several injuries in the wreck, including fractures to her lower face and back. She also had to have an ovary removed, as well as parts of her small and large intestine. Jenifer Irvin, her close friend, is hoping the community might be able to help the teenager and what will likely be mounting medical expenses.
“She will need all the help we can get,” said Irvin. Rogers lives with Irvin and her husband. “She’s basically family. We’ve been living together for awhile now. She’s a good girl, she’s sweet and never does bad — she’s very innocent and didn’t deserve this.”
The wreck reportedly occurred close to midnight Saturday. A curfew was in effect at that point, but Irvin said there was some pressure from the employer of Rogers’ boyfriend Javier Perez’s stepfather Marco Lopez, to check on the animals. They did not want Lopez to go alone so the teenager went with her boyfriend and stepfather to provide lighting so the men could see what they were doing, Irvin said.
“After they had gone to check the farm they were on the way back,” said Irvin. “The road collapsed and the front of the truck went into the water. My friends managed to call 911 and get themselves out of the truck and onto the road. Everyone was wearing seat belts. Both men were fine but Hope only had a waist belt not a chest belt … and was hurt badly.”
She was airlifted to Chapel Hill. As of late Sunday, she was at Chapel Hill awaiting a colonoscopy. She has no insurance, so Irvin wanted to see what she could do for her friend. She set up a Go Fund Me page called Hope for Hope.
She hopes the community can help, but if someone cannot, maybe they would not mind spreading the word.
“It goes for covering her medical bills, her medicines, her recovery and helping also since she won’t have an income for awhile,” said Irvin, who noted the hospital has not given an overall estimate as of yet. “She has no insurance, so I’m trying to help her as much I can.”
There have several other vehicles across the county that have been caught in washouts, none of which were major accidents but there were injuries involved. Dangerous road conditions during Hurricane Matthew took the life of Garland resident on Saturday.
Solomon Hickmond, 30, died in a single-vehicle accident on Old Mintz Road Saturday afternoon. Highway Patrol authorities said wet conditions were a main factor. According to reports from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Hickmond was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox and lost control before hitting a tree, near N.C. Highway 411.
First Sgt. David Kinlaw, of the Sampson County branch of the Highway Patrol, said Sunday that that patrol was busy responding to people stranded in vehicles as a result of flooding, having received upwards of 50 such calls.
“A lot of times you got to a spot where the water was running across,” Kinlaw said. “Cars stopped and they couldn’t get out and were stranded.”
He warned of dangers due to flooding and water damage, especially at night.
“There are a lot of roads underwater and if you don’t know that, you’re going to get yourself in a lot of trouble,” the first sergeant said Sunday.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has to wait until water level decreases before they begin work repairing the roads. Local law enforcement officials have urged residents to heed the warnings of dangerous road conditions and to stay off them if at all possible.
“Please continue to stay off the roads,” Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said Sunday, in the wake of the hurricane when the roadways were packed with people taking a look at the damage. “The majority of roads are still impassible and still pose a danger. Please do not get out and try to ride around to survey the damage for yourselves, you will only add to existing problems. Please allow emergency workers, (Department of Transportation) and utility workers to do their job without adding an additional burden. We are continuously responding to people driving into sink holes.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.