UPDATE: Leland man dies after being pinned between burning vehicles on I-40

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Submitted: Fri, 07/11/2014 - 3:43pm
Updated: Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:13pm

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — One person is dead after being pinned between two burning vehicles and two others hurt after a crash last night on I-40 in Pender County.

Highway Patrol says the accident happened just before 11 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of the interstate near mile marker 393. Investigators say an abandoned van was parked in a travel lane with no lights on. That’s where troopers say a pickup truck was also parked, while two people tried to load the van onto a tow dolly attached to the truck.

Troopers say a Cadillac crashed into the van, pushing it forward into the pickup truck before it spun around, leaving Derrick Benton, 21, of Leland, pinned between the two vehicles. The van also hit the second man, which knocked him over to the side and away from the crash.

The Cadillac finally spun around with the van, with the car coming to rest underneath the rear of the van. Troopers say the vehicles both caught fire with Benton still pinned between them, as the driver of the Cadillac was removed from inside.

Troopers say Benton was burned in the flames and pronounced dead at the scene. EMS took the two other victims to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for their injuries. There is no word on their conditions.

No charges have been filed at this time.


  • Guest2020 says:

    Thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • DM says:

    Derrick was my neighbor for many years we fought like brothers the whole neighborhood was like family do anything for each other sorry for your lost Mrs Tonya and Mr Fred my prayers go out to his family R.I.P Derrick ..

  • Family Member says:

    I would request that we keep everyone from this accident in your prayers. because we still have people fighting for their lives.

    To the Benton Family – my heart goes out to you at this time. It’s always hard lossing a loved one (a son, a father, a husband). Sounds to me that Derrick was all three in one package. Please know that your all are in our prayers at this time of sadness.

  • Tim says:

    R.I.P Derrick we were really good friends i never thought in a million years this would happen to you you were always a outgoing person willing to help anyone anytime you were like a big brother to me we use to live right down the street from each other and hang out everyday man i can believe this happened to you my upmost sincere condoleces go out to his parents and his wife and daughter i miss you and love you derrick ill always keep the memories that we had close to my heart rest easy bro i know your watching over us all now hopefully ill get to see u again

    R.I.P Derrick Benton
    Tim Cramer

  • Jessica Maria Crocker says:

    I knew this kid since i was young. he was a very good friend to everyone and as far as i know he didn’t have any enemies. i feel so bad for his daughter and his wife. He will be deeply missed and loved for as long as his family and friends are still alive.

    R.I.P Derek Benton

  • Gina Dickens says:

    My daughter is married to the oldest brother in this family. This is such a tragic thing. My heart breaks for his Mom, my dear friend. There is no one to blame. If you do not have any nice comments or condolences for the grieving family, please keep you opinions to your self. I can not imagine the pain this family is going through. I truly believe Derrick is an angel in heaven. He will be watching over his family. I am so sorry, this happened to such a nice, young man, and his family.
    To the family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Hold tight to your memories. He will forever be in your hearts. I love you all.
    To Derrick, RIP baby. We will all see you again, until then, you will always be with us,in some way. A song, a story,etc.

  • samantha estep says:

    I know my cousin was crazy as hell in time but he would drop anything to help any one and that’s what he was doin thanks every one for the prayers

  • Scott says:

    The other man, whom Derrick was helping, is a good friend of mine. They drove there from Winnabow??? to bring that van back to my friends home. The man whom he was helping is in the hospital NHRMC ICU.

    I only met Derrick 2x and he seemed to be the person you could call on anytime of the day and/or night and he would help even if he had to go without.

    I’m saddened to hear that his family has lost a loving husband, father, son and great friend!

    I hope God helps this family during this time of heartbreak and sorrow! RIP Derrick…

  • J R says:

    Cass, I would really love to speak to you regarding the dogs in the car. We are still searching desperately for information about their whereabouts or what happened to them. Please email me at royalja@aol.com. My thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.

  • Cass says:

    I hope it can bring Derrick’s family some comfort to know that he died on impact, before the fire. He didn’t suffer. Myself and two other men pulled the driver out of the burning car. I would like to know how he and the other victim are doing, and if the two dogs in the car made it. I don’t know who belonged with the truck and who was with the van, but it appears that one stopped to help the other. To die helping another person is honerable, and his family should be proud for that. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Ginger says:

    Sara – Sorry for you loss. You, your daughter and your family are in our prayers. Sounds like you have an amazing husband that will truly be missed.

  • sara benyon says:

    This was my husband that died. U didn’t know him so take whatever bad stuff u r posting n put it where the sun dnt shine. Our 3 1/2 year old little girl miss her daddy. N I miss him he was best friend. I love him so much it hurts.I dnt know what to with out u I love u my husband nafe tla ( now and forever true love always) R.I.P baby I’ll see u again day.

  • Fred osborne says:

    I could say some choice words to the comment above but I won’t say it due to the fact that it was my younger brother who died in this terrible accident. I love you Derrick. You will forever be remembered in our hearts. R.I.P Derrick you are and will always be missed.


  • Family says:

    All I can say is that there may have been many reasons why the disabled vehicle was not moved; we obviously do not know because we were not at the scene of the accident – and thank God we were not. I am just hoping that people will uplift this family for they not only lost a young man, a son, a brother, but a little girl lost her daddy.

  • Tracy mcdougald says:

    Thinking or not this young man was someone’s son he was also a young husband and father. His family needs your prayers not criticism put yourself in the family’s shoes for just a minute would you want to hear all the coulda ,shoulda, woulda’s I think not be human for minute if you can!

  • TinaV1980 says:

    Derrick was helping someone i am pretty sure.he didn’t think this was going to happen. Have a little sympathy for his family. Now is not the time for your criticism in anyway. So pls keep your thought to yourself the family does not need it. We Love you Derrick Benton will carry on in our hearts and memories . Later lil bro till we meet again.

  • bowling says:

    Interstate…..dark……..rain….no lights…..vehicle on traveled portion of the roadway….not moving….recipe for disaster. WHY did those involved not push, pull or otherwise try to get the disabled vehicle OFF the road BEFORE attempting to load it? Got to think to stay alive………….

  • Fred osborne says:

    R.I.P little brother you will never be forgotten.

  • staci says:

    So sorry fred.. He was a great guy praying for you and yours

  • Martin DiQuattro says:

    I was vehicle number six or seven on the scene. I had just come through a terrible down pour almost blinding me. I have seen several accidents in the past, but this one was terrible. The van began to burn with several people near the fire. I did not understand why they would have been so close, but now knowing Derrick was pinned between the vehicles I completely understand.

    I am very sad to hear that he lost his life.


  • Amber Matteson says:

    Fred, I havent seen or spoken to you in a long time. I could only imagine what you & your family are going through. I just want to say Im so sorry for the loss of your brother! Stay strong for everyone especially your niece! Much love to all of you!

  • lucy says:

    clearly this was a tragic accident…. there is no one to blame as this young boy was trying to help….. he sadly died trying to help ….
    i will pray for your family…. i am so so sick over this…. truly an accident….

  • ColleenOIB says:

    Dear Fred,
    Words cannot even express my sorrow at your loss. May God keep your family during this terrible time. I passed through this area at about 9:30 last night and all I can think when I read this was “but for the grace of God, there go I” I will keep you in my prayers.

  • R. Pigford says:

    Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family of the gentleman.

  • Friend says:

    My heart goes out to your brother, mom, wife, baby girl, and all your loved ones. You were a great guy and wonderful father, and you will be dearly missed. I love y’all, and am so sorry this happened. Way too young, especially such an awful way. Rest easy

  • Teresa Taylor says:

    Fred, you showed great respect for your brother and Family and I am very proud of you. Derrick will be greatly missed. I regret not getting to know him better and still picture him as the cute little blonde hair sweet little boy. My heart breaks for you and your Mom and Family. Your Mom is really going to need you boys right now.

  • samantha estep says:

    Derrick was my cousin I miss him very much. He was so young had a smile on your face every time .ge had a heart of gold and would help any one he didn’t deserve to go like that. I love you bud rest easy. You are loved and missed by many but never will be forgotten

  • copeland says:

    This is a very sad thing, but it does appear that common sense was not used here. I saw something like this happen several years ago, and the situation was very similar and the outcome the same. Sympathy goes to the young man’s family.

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