FIRST ON WITN: Man who crashed into Vidant apologizes to victim's family

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - A man whose car crashed through a hospital wall last week, killing another man, says he had a heart attack and had to be resuscitated.

William Spellman is back home after last Thursday morning's accident at Vidant Medical Center's emergency department.

WITN's Elisse Ramey spoke with the man late this afternoon.

"I'm tore up about it, I'm sorry to the family," said Spellman. "It could have been me, why I was spared I don't know. I have to live with this for the rest of my life."

Spellman told Greenville police that the last thing he remembers is turning onto Emergency Drive.

His vehicle crashed through the wall and into the emergency department waiting room, killing Horace Batchelor. The 69-year-old Batchelor was hit by the car, while two family members with him were struck by debris.

A police report says Spellman went to the hospital because he thought his asthma was acting up and he had trouble breathing. "I didn't have time to think," Spellman said when we asked him about why he didn't call an ambulance.

The man didn't know he had crashed into the hospital until he was told by hospital staff. Police say they still need to confer with the district attorney about any possible charges against Spellman.

Meanwhile funeral arrangements for Batchelor have been announced. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at H.D. Pope Funeral Home, while the Roanoke Rapid's man's funeral will be at noon Thursday at the Roanoke Rapids Chapel. Internment will be Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. in Crestview Memorial Cemetery in Roanoke Rapids.


March 18th Story

The family of a Roanoke Rapids man who died after a car plowed into the waiting room at Vidant Medical Center says they have no ill will toward the driver.

Horace Batchelor of Roanoke Rapids passed away Thursday afternoon at the hospital, according to police.

Police spokeswoman Kristen Hunter says William Spellman, 59, of Bethel, was on the way to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when he lost control of the Kia Spectra, driving over a median and into the lobby of the emergency department.

They believe the man was having a medical emergency when his car hit the building. Most of the vehicle ended up inside the waiting room, where three people were injured.

The other people injured, 20-year-old Deon Wiggins, and Sallie Twine, 66, were both treated and released from Vidant. Family members confirm they are related to Batchelor and were all at the emergency department together.

Greenville police say their investigation in accident is continuing.


March 17th Story

Greenville police say a 69-year-old man who was injured in the waiting room at Vidant Medical Center has died.

Horace Batchelor of Roanoke Rapids passed away Thursday afternoon at the hospital, according to police.

Police spokeswoman Kristen Hunter says William Spellman, 59, of Bethel, was on the way to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when he lost control of the Kia Spectra, driving over a median and into the lobby of the emergency department.

They believe the man was having a medical emergency when his car hit the building. Most of the vehicle ended up inside the waiting room, where three people were injured.

20-year-old Deon Wiggins, and Sallie Twine, 66, who are also from Roanoke Rapids, were treated and released from the hospital this morning.

Spellman remains hospitalized.


Previous Story

Police have released the names of the four people injured after a car crashed into the emergency department at Vidant Medical Center.

Police spokeswoman Kristen Hunter says William Spellman, 59, of Bethel, was on the way to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when he lost control of the Kia Spectra, driving over a median and into the lobby of the emergency department.

They believe the man was having a medical emergency when his car hit the building. Most of the vehicle ended up inside the waiting room, where three people were injured.

The injured people have been identified as 69-year-old Horace Batchelor, 20-year-old Deon Wiggins, and Sallie Twine, 66, all of Roanoke Rapids.

Police say Batchelor was the most seriously injured, while the other two people suffered only minor injuries. They have since been released from Vidant.

Dr. Ted Delbridge, chief of Emergency Services at the hospital, says they believe the man was driving about 50 miles per hour when he hit the building. He said there were nearly 20 people in the ED lobby at the time.

The emergency department was back operating as normal by 7:00 a.m., according to Delbridge.

The hospital does have barricades to prevent something like this from happening, but Delbridge says the car went through them.


Previous Story

The driver of a car that crashed into the Emergency Department at Vidant Medical Center likely suffered a medical condition behind the wheel, according to Greenville police.

Police spokesperson Kristen Hunter says the driver was on the way to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when they lost control of the Kia Spectra, driving over a median and into the lobby of the Emergency Department. Hunter says the driver and three people in the lobby were injured. Their injuries ranged from minor to serious. Police expect to release the names of the victims later today.

Patients needing to get to the Emergency Department at Vidant are able to do so, according to Hunter.

Dr. Ted Delbridge, chief of Emergency Services at the hospital, says two people injured have been treated and released, while two others are still hospitalized. He said one of those is the driver who is hospitalized mostly for his medical conditions he had during the crash.

Dr. Delbridge says they believe the man was driving about 50 miles per hour when he hit the building. He said there were nearly 20 people in the ED lobby at the time.

The emergency department was back operating as normal by 7:00 a.m., according to Delbridge.

The hospital does have barricades to prevent something like this from happening, but Delbridge says the car went through them.



Previous Story
Dispatch told us police officers are on scene at Vidant Medical Center, where a car drove into the Emergency Room.

Greenville police said they responded to the hospital's ER around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

It appeared a car drove into, and crashed into the building on Stantonsburg Rd. in Greenville.

Hospital officials told us their media team is on their way, and will be giving a statement about the incident shortly.

Stay with WITN as we follow this breaking news.