A man is in critical condition after a Saturday car crash near Lake James.
Christopher Robinson, 28, of Morganton, was driving on N.C. 126 near the three-way near Lake James Fire Department when he ran off the road to the right, overcorrected, ran off the road to the left and hit a tree, said Trooper G.N. Gentieu with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Robinson was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, Gentieu said. Speed also played a role in the crash.
He was airlifted to Mission Hospital in Asheville, Gentieu said. He still was in critical condition Sunday afternoon.
Gentieu urged drivers to buckle up and slow down and allow a few extra minutes in their travels so they don’t need to speed.
“It only takes a couple of seconds to buckle your seat belt,” Gentieu said.
Robinson was able to get help quickly because of the efforts of a first responder, Gentieu said.
“[It was] extremely fortunate that a member of Lake James Fire Department saw it happen and took action to get the necessary personnel and medical equipment on standby,” Gentieu said.
The LJFD member had an ambulance and other first responders run emergency traffic to the scene of the crash, had the medical helicopter on stand-by and administered emergency medical aid while other responders were in route. Without her witnessing the crash, it could have taken responders a lot longer to get to the scene and help the driver.
“In situations like that, time is critical,” Gentieu said. “Because of her quick actions, he was able to get the necessary medical attention.”
Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.