Woman killed in U.S. 117 crash was being transported by … – WECT

ST HELENA, N.C. (WECT) – A man and a woman involved in a crash that shut down a section of U.S. 117 in St. Helena on Thursday afternoon confirmed that their mother was killed in the crash.
“It is with incredible sadness that I say my mother…gained her angel wings today from a horrific car accident that I will have nightmares about for the rest of my life,” the woman wrote in a Facebook post.
County and State Highway Patrol officials said on Friday that a truck travelling north on U.S. 117 crossed the center line and struck an oncoming EMS vehicle head on.
During a press conference hosted by Pender County, officials said that Jacksonville-resident Lynnette Smalley, who later died from her injuries, was being transported by an ambulance with her family driving nearby in the moments leading up to the crash.
Both EMS crew members involved in the crash were still in the hospital Friday morning with serious injuries: paramedic Holly Bauer and advanced EMT Catherine Wortman.
Officials said Cassandra Nicole Soga, who crashed into the EMS vehicle, was charged with driving while impaired, reckless driving and driving left of center, and more charges are expected. She was taken to the hospital for serious injuries and is hospitalized as of Friday morning. A blood sample was obtained from Soga and sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis.
A State Highway Patrol representative said two cars behind the ambulance had to swerve to avoid the crash and ran off the road, receiving some damage. Another car was damaged by debris.
In total there were 13 victims, including some children. Novant Health told WECT on Thursday they were treating four patients in connection to the crash.
“Based on early reports from the scene, we mobilized additional team members this afternoon under our mass casualty protocol. This proactive response is designed to ensure the needed personnel and resources are available to respond to the incident. We appreciate the caring clinicians and team members who quickly jumped into action to support our patients,” a Novant Health spokesperson stated.
Several emergency agencies in the area posted on social media, sending their thoughts and prayers to the Pender EMS and Fire Unit:
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