Two local men escaped serious injury Monday night when their vehicle careened off an embankment and landed upside down in a borrow pit east of Havelock.
“I would definitely say that they’re lucky to be alive looking at that impact,” said N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper B.M. Riggs.
One of the two men said the pair was out scouting a fishing hole in the middle of the mine, located two miles east of Havelock off N.C. 101.
Both the driver and the passenger managed to crawl out of the Ford Expedition with minor injuries and refused treatment by Havelock Fire and Rescue personnel responding to the crash that happened about 6:25 p.m.
The men were driving on a dirt road that surrounds the borrow pit when they apparently lost control and ran off an embankment, fell about 10 feet down an escarpment and landed upside down.
“It looks like that dirt down there kind of helped break the fall a little bit,” Riggs said. “They were coming through here a little fast and went through that patch of water, hydroplaned and went off that embankment.”
Riggs said that because the wreck happened on private property, the driver wasn’t cited and no report was made.
Trader Construction Company owns the property, called the Davis Pit. Lonnie Dow, part of the management team for the company, said they have had past problems keeping people from riding around at the mine.
“The various security measures seem to get put up and torn down, put up and torn down,” Dow said.
Martin Cieszko, owner of the Cieszko Construction Company Whitehall Borrow Pit, which is down the same dirt road and adjacent to the Davis Pit, said he has encountered joy riders and has also taken measures to keep them out.
“My part is fenced off and locked with a gate,” Cieszko said. “I do my best to discourage people from going down there because it’s dangerous.
“For liability purposes, I discourage people from riding off-road vehicles or bikes back there. Mine is all posted. I try to really hard to keep people off mine.”
Dow said people have taken the company’s chains away from the entrances to the mine.
“They actually go as far as to not only cut them, but actually remove them like they weren’t even there. It’s one incident after the other,” Dow said.