LAUREL HILL – A Wagram man who filmed himself while driving may have played a part in an accident that sent him and another driver to the hospital Monday afternoon, according to authorities.
Donald Williams, 22, of Wagram began a Facebook live stream as he drove along McFarland Road. Facebook Live allows users to broadcast a video in real time from a cellphone that friends and followers can view on the social media website. The video had gotten about 4,900 views by Monday afternoon. That number had almost doubled to 9,500 by noon on Tuesday.
In the video, Williams can be seen driving while adjusting the phone’s camera, tapping on another cellphone, looking away from the road, and driving left of center in at least two instances before the wreck.
A caution sign warning of the intersection can be seen in the 39-minute video before Williams’ 1989 Chevrolet truck enters the intersection of McFarland and Snead’s Grove roads and is struck by a Toyota Tundra.
The driver of the Toyota, Anthony “Tony” Hildreth, 62, of Laurel Hill, was traveling north on Snead’s Grove Road, according to Trooper Ross Maynor with NC Highway Patrol.
Hildreth’s vehicle rolled over and came to rest in a soybean field, Maynor said. Emergency personnel used the”Jaws of Life” to extricate Hildreth from his truck.
Both drivers were responsive at the scene and transported to Scotland Memorial Hospital, according to Maynor.
Hildreth was treated and released.
Hildreth was driving to Pinehurst to visit a relative in the hospital. The relative later died while Hildreth was at Scotland Memorial Hospital.
He was transported to Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte, where he live streamed on two more occasions from the trauma unit.
Williams was charged with a failure to wear a seat belt and a stop sign violation.
Maynor has seen the video and is reviewing state statues to determine whether charges related to it are warranted.
After the crash, the camera is left pointing toward the sky. The remainder of the video records the sounds of the aftermath of the crash including the arrival of first responders.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169