RURAL HALL, N.C. (WGHP) — A family is in pain physically and emotionally days after surviving a head-on crash but happy to be together at home.
A highway patrol trooper said 60-year-old James Fulton died after veering off N.C. 65 in Rural Hall on Friday, overcorrecting and then slamming into Carrie Ann Simpkins’ van.
Simpkins’ four children were also in the vehicle.
“I mean I was literally sitting out there on a stretcher crying out to God,” Simpkins said.
Praying her children survived and their injuries were not life-threatening.
“All of us looking at the pictures couldn’t believe we had as minor injuries as we did,” Simpkins said.
As they reviewed the wreckage, one photo caught Simpkins’ eye — one that shows a rainbow over the crash scene. Simpkins calls it a symbol of hope and a sign God was looking after them last Friday afternoon.
The elementary teacher and her children are healing at home. Her oldest daughter Hunter was at driver’s education when the crash occurred.
The only one not injured is her 13-year-old daughter Nola, who was in the passenger seat.
“So she somehow managed to kick the door open and found the phone and she started waving people over and dialed 911,” Simpkins said.
Simpkins has a broken foot, broken ribs and broken collarbone. Her 7-year-old son Brooks has stitches above his eye, 10-year-old Finley has a broken arm and pelvis and 15-month-old Hutch has a broken leg.
“We’ve got a few months of recovery but we’ll be OK,” Simpkins said.
This was the family’s first crash and one they said they won’t forget.
“There’s always going to be a fear. I’ll probably drive a little slower now. I definitely have ordered the exact same car seat for the baby,” Simpkins said.
The Simpkins family tells WGHP they’ve received a lot of support from the community and they are very grateful for all the cards, meals and texts.
They plan on buying a new van soon.