Troopers: Speed factor in crash that killed father, son in Caldwell Co.

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Investigators are waiting for blood test results to determine if alcohol played a role in a deadly crash that killed a father and his 5-year-old son.

Zachary Vest, 25, died in the crash Monday night on Hartland Road in Caldwell County, officials said, and his 5-year-old son, Zane, who was also in the truck, died hours later at a hospital.

Troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said Vest was driving at excessive speed when he entered a right-hand curve. He traveled off the left side of the road and hit a tree head-on.

"It was such a terrible crash," witness Wayne Wyke said.

The crash happened in Wyke's front yard. He ran out to help a passersby pull Vest out of the driver's seat.

"There is another young lady jumped up in the back of the pickup truck and looked in the window, and saw that there was a child in the back," Wyke said.

The woman pulled the child out the back window as a spark ignited fluid leaking from the wrecked engine.

A former rescue chief and nurse were passing by and they performed CPR on the boy.

"They were doing their very best," Wyke said. "They did a fantastic job. It was just too late."

The boy died at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte hours later.

Troopers investigating the crash said the collision was just too severe.

"The difference between life and death a lot of times is what you hit," Trooper F.J. Bean said.

Vest was not wear a seat belt and died at the scene.

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