1 dead, 3 injured after car crashes into NC hospital emergency room

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Police in Greenville, North Carolina said late Thursday afternoon that 69-year-old Horace Batchelor, of Roanoke Rapids, has died.

Batchelor was one of three people injured while sitting in the waiting room of the emergency department at Vidant Medical Center when a car crashed into it overnight. It happened just after 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

Vidant Medical Center ER crash

William Linton Spellman, 59, of Bethel, the driver of the vehicle, remains hospitalized. The other two people injured in the waiting room at the hospital were identified as 66-year-old Sallie Daniels Twine and 20-year-old Deon Lethaniel Wiggins, both of Roanoke Rapids.

Greenville police noted that Wiggins and Twine suffered minor injuries.

During the incident, the hospital initiated a “Code Yellow” emergency. It’s typically initiated when there is an incident involving multiple casualties or impacting lots of people.

Vidant Medical Center ER crash
Vidant Medical Center

“The difficulty doesn’t require us to call in all of the available staff to the hospital, but it alerts the staff that is in the hospital to be paying attention to further messaging about their needs to flow and maintain care of the patients in the various areas of the hospital,” explained Dr. Ted Delbridge, Emergency Department.

The administration sent an email alert to all employees. An announcement was also made over the hospital’s loud speaker.

A preliminary investigation showed Spellman, the driver of a Kia Spectra, was already enroute to the hospital when he likely experienced a medical emergency, crashed into a way-finding sign, and continued through the Emergency Department lobby before coming to a stop. There were a total of seven people inside the lobby at the time of the crash.

The Spellman, as well as the three aforementioned individuals were sitting in the waiting room and were injured. There were no staff injuries.

The Emergency Department is still accepting patients.

Greenville Police, Vidant Medical Center Police and Greenville Fire-Rescue responded to the scene of the crash.

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