Accident victim ‘critical’ after Thursday crash

Published 9:56 am Saturday, March 6, 2010

MURFREESBORO – An elderly Como woman is listed in critical condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital following a single-vehicle accident near here Thursday afternoon.

Pinned inside her car for 90 minutes following the 2:10 p.m. mishap on NC 11, Willie Ruffin, 78, was the subject of an intense extrication effort by several emergency response agencies.

After being freed from her entrapment, Ruffin was flown by EastCare to Pitt Memorial. The medical helicopter was able to land near the accident scene, located between Horton Road and Woodrow School Road.

Meanwhile, NC 11 traffic (north and southbound) was rerouted around the accident scene for just over two hours by using the two aforementioned side roads. Murfreesboro firemen and Hertford County Sheriff’s deputies handled the traffic control.

According to North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper K.R. Velazquez, Ruffin was operating a 2000 Lincoln passenger car northbound on NC 11 at the time of the crash.

“Motorists traveling behind her vehicle said they all were at the speed limit (55 mph) when they saw her vehicle travel off the right side of the roadway several times before it slid down an embankment,” Trooper Velazquez said.

Once the car reached the bottom of the embankment, it struck a tree on the driver’s side. That fact made it difficult for emergency responders to easily gain access to Ruffin.

Units from Hertford County Emergency Medical Services, Hertford County Emergency Management, Murfreesboro Fire Department, Winton Fire Department, Murfreesboro Police Department and the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

“They all worked as a team to help the victim of this accident,” Trooper Velazquez said.

Charges are pending at this time.