3-vehicle wreck on Woodlawn injures 7

CMS says 5 of those injured are students at Myers Park High School

01/08/2013 9:30 AM

01/08/2013 8:30 PM

At least two of seven people injured in a three-vehicle wreck Tuesday morning in south Charlotte were still in the hospital that evening.

Charlotte resident Jorge Vargas, 16, was in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center, a spokeswoman said. Heather Dinkins, 17, was also still at CMC late Tuesday but hospital officials did not know her status.

Five of those injured in the wreck on Woodlawn Road were students at Myers Park High School, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials.

The wreck happened about 7:15 a.m. in the 1400 block of Woodlawn, just west of Park Road, when the driver of a black Honda SUV swerved, and overcorrected. It struck another SUV and a sedan and ended up on the opposite side of the street, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman said. Vargas and four other teenagers were passengers in the Honda SUV, which was driven by 19-year-old Giezi Galindo Hernandez, a police report shows.

Charlotte resident Kelly Roberts, 50, was driving the Honda sedan involved in the wreck. Roberts said she was on her way to work when the car “came out of nowhere.”

“It hit head-on the SUV in front of me, which flipped, and I didn’t have time to react,” Roberts said. “I ran into it; I didn’t have time to move my foot from the gas to the brake pedal.”

The force of the crash sent Roberts’ car down an embankment. She didn’t want to comment on her injuries, but said she was the only person who didn’t have to immediately go to the hospital.

While waiting for emergency responders to arrive, Roberts went over to the Hyundai SUV that had flipped. The driver, 53-year-old Cheryle Dinkins, and her daughter Heather were trapped in the car, Roberts said.

Roberts prayed with the mother and daughter to help keep them calm, she said.

“It all happened so fast,” Roberts said. “To realize I wasn’t crushed; it was surreal.”

Charlotte firefighters needed about 15 minutes to free Cheryle Dinkins. Police were able to reopen the road about 8:45 a.m.

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