Greenville doctor among 2 killed while stopping to help car crashed on side of I-87 near Knightdale

WTVD logo
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
2 people killed while helping crashed car in Knightdale
"He wasn't thinking of himself. He saw something that looked like he could help, and he jumped right into the middle of it," a friend of one of the victims said.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) has identified the two people killed in a deadly crash on I-87 North at (Exit 9) the Smithfield Road exit just outside of Knightdale.

NCSHP said the two people who died stopped to help when a black SUV hydroplaned and ran off the road. The deadly crash happened during intense and widespread rain across the state Sunday.

The two victims are Roger McMurray and Gregory Harman. ABC11 has learned that McMurray served in the Air Force before becoming a family doctor in Greenville and Harman lived in Raleigh. Both of them were hit by a white Ford pickup that also hydroplaned in the same area.

No one in the SUV or the pickup was injured, NCSHP said. Driver Eric Rivas was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle and exceeding a safe speed.

NCSHP added that McMurray and Harman were all the way off the road in a grassy area helping the original crash victim when the pickup crashed into them.

Glen Patten and his wife were patients of McMurray. They had been going to him for a decade and considered the physician a friend.

"He is always, always the most friendly loving guy you could imagine," Patten said. "There's no doubt in my mind, when he saw that accident -- that car roll off the side of the road -- the first thought in his mind was go help. That's the way he was."

A memorial has been planned in Greenville to honor the doctor.

"That was the kind of person he was. He wasn't thinking of himself. He saw something that looked like he could help, and he jumped right into the middle of it," Patten said. "We're going to miss him."

Harman's family said they are stunned at his sudden death.

"Our family would just like to say that it was in Greg's nature to help others. We know that he died trying to provide assistance and comfort to those in need, but we are deeply grieving his loss. Greg was a devoted husband and father, a loyal and proud veteran, a loving friend, and we will miss him dearly forever. I am sincerely grateful for the care and guidance provided by the first responders and the doctors and staff at WakeMed hospital in Raleigh," his wife Laura said.