A Shelby man was rushed to a Lincolnton hospital Thursday evening after his vehicle traveled down an embankment on N.C. 150 Bypass, troopers said.
Michael Harris, 60, was traveling west down the area roadway when his white Honda Accord hit a fire hydrant and brick column, sending him 20 to 25 feet down the embankment near the Water Treatment Plant, according to Trooper J. C. Craig with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Firefighters with South Fork Volunteer Fire Department responded just after 5:30 p.m. to pull Harris from the vehicle and over the bank using a rope system.
The entire extrication process took about 20 minutes, firefighters said.
After crews with Brook’s Wrecker Service in Lincolnton pulled the Honda from the embankment, emergency workers had to secure a gas leak pouring from the vehicle’s front end.
Troopers, who estimated the driver’s speed of impact to be around 55 mph, remain unclear as to what caused the crash.
The victim told officers he had no recollection of the event, leading troopers to believe a medical condition contributed to the wreck, Craig said.
Emergency Medical Services transported Harris, with non-life-threatening conditions, to Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln.
The roadway remained closed for several minutes after the incident, firefighters said, to allow crews to properly tow the vehicle out of the area and ensure safe transport of the patient.